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I want you to experience this ecstasy (Read 7509 times)
tybee
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #15 - 07/03/09 at 04:55:10
 
I spoke with Steve today as I want to hear his new dac before Decfest. So, I will be traveling to Peoria to hear the new dac, the mini Torii and speakers. I am very hopeful that the new Decware dac gets closer to good vinyl????!

This past weekend I participated in a local audiophile meeting hearing a tricked out, battery powered Red Point TT/Shroeder arm/ZYX Universe with Shindo preamp/Lamm monoblocks and it destroyed a well regarded (not brick) dac from Gordon in Cincinnati via a Mac Mini PC system.  Of course, we listened to Acoustic Sounds remastered 45s LPs, but these LPs sounded the closest to live that I have experienced. In fairness, Gordon's dac was much better than most highend CD players that I have auditioned this past year.  Digitial, even at the high end, still has many miles to make up to even approach highend vinyl.  

Since I listen to LPs as my primary source, I am searching for an OK dac at reasonable cost to backup my vinyl system.  Since I have a very good tuner and great local FM classical and jazz stations, CD playback has to excel or my sources will be only vinyl and FM.
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mike_gagne
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #16 - 07/03/09 at 08:12:18
 
FM?    yikes.
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ptime
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #17 - 07/09/09 at 05:41:20
 
having owned a few decware amps..that transparent nature of them, i'd be interested in this dac, especially if affordable (<1K).

ty - report back, preferrably on the same day you here it Smiley
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #18 - 07/10/09 at 02:19:21
 
OK ..... it's nitty gritty time .....  

Steve,

If you wouldn't mind, I would like to get your thoughts on the new DAC as compared to the ZCD.

If we use a scale of 100 being very good vinyl, here is my (rough) scale based on my experience ..... all other things in the system being equal .....

100 - very good vinyl
65 to 70 - Zanden DAC, CEC transport, Genesis Digital Lens
55 to 65 - Camelot Uther DAC, CEC transport, Genesis Digital Lens
45 to 50 - ZCD

Of course, a very good CD (about 15 to 20 % of what's available) would raise each of the digital scores 5 to 10 points, IMHO.

Not all vinyl sounds great and I still hate surface noise as much as having a tooth pulled without novacaine.

I genuinely enjoy my digital based system.  My room and total system sound better to my ears than a good number of vinyl based systems that I have heard ..... for reasons that are logical to me.

Are you in a position to make a head to head comparison between the new DAC and the ZCD ?

Where would you put the ZCD and the new DAC in my scale ?

Also ..... what are you using for a transport and does the quality of the transport make a huge difference with the new DAC ?

Inquiring minds want to know .....

Randy
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« Last Edit: 07/10/09 at 18:47:47 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
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Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
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Doorman
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #19 - 07/10/09 at 03:24:56
 
Randy: You've phrased the question better than me, one I asked in a post above.
Given a simple system, ie: Zen Select, TS GG pre, & ZCD, how would the new DAC benefit ?
(curious)
Don
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Hotsauce
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #20 - 07/10/09 at 04:58:38
 
Is the revelation that came to you one of a digital nature, or in the analog stage that follows?

John C.  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #21 - 07/11/09 at 01:07:21
 
"Satisfying as good analog" were my words.  Since digital came out I have never found it satisfying like good analog.  Something has always been wrong with it.  It just doesn't caress me the same way.  I think what makes analog so good (besides the almost infinitely higher sampling rate if you will) is the timing.  Timing that properly defines pitch, timbre, dynamics and perhaps palatability.  

FIR FILTERS:

Are digital filters, making use of the time domain to create a frequency domain response. The basic thing is, that FIR filters introduce PRE-RINGING and POST ringing Like this:



This is how the square wave looks without the fir filter:



The idea here is that without the transients smeared around in time, the focus and basically everything will improve. Vinyl playback does not employ fir filters.

The other thing is the oversampling. There are other ways to improve the bit rate and reduce errors. Vinyl playback does not have oversampling.

Lastly jitter. To me this is almost the biggest hang up with digital since  it takes a world class transport, cables and re clocking device in the DAC to prevent it from becoming an issue. That's a bit depressing when you buy your first good DAC and find out you have to spend a small fortune on a transport and cables to hear how good the DAC actually is. For ten times less investment you could set up a modest vinyl rig and have superior sound quality.

USB:

If done correctly, both software and hardware, it is possible to get bit for bit transfer with up to 100 times less jitter than you would find in a typical CD player. Therefor the DAC will most certainly have a USB port and the piece of mind that comes with having 100% error free rips of your CD collection on the hard drive never to be scratched again.

Randy, I'm not sure where to put it in your list, but it will be a non-oversampling and non-filtered DAC much like the Zanden was. What it does better than the ZCD player is in a word, more organic. Images are tangible, music has more openness and is a little less forced.  Certainly it's a bit smoother too.  The DAC I'm hoping to show at the DECFEST this year will be a three stage affair with a tremendous amount of adjustability.  It can be made to sound warm enough to make sub par CD's almost listenable, but of course the voicing is being done around great recordings.

I just know that once I heard the oversampling and FIR filter eliminated, that "thing" about digital that irritates me so me much was simply gone.  In it's place was almost twice as much content in the high end.  Sounding like more dots on the line if you will.

My guess is the Zanden was a bit too thick and trying to sound like analog at any cost.  For that kind of money it was probably  over done too.  I could be wrong, but to make sure the same doesn't happen with this one, I have set it up so that the output can be directly of the DAC chips themselves - the ultimate in transparency.  OR, the output can come from the tube stage OR, the output can come from the finals being fed by the tube stage.  The finals are solid state and very adjustable.  This can be done on the fly while you listen.

It's capable of being highly focused - more so than an oversampling design, and with the extras it can be juicy rich.  Without any tone controls, the frequency balance can be leaned out or fattened up, and the dynamics can be brought out in a way that is not possible with virtually every other DAC I've tried.  You can quickly find that magic window where the dynamics begin to liberate themselves from the speakers and the weight goes a long way to making sound more like a good LP.  

So I'll leave you with that.  Right now I'm not interested in writing the papers on it, just getting it turn key for the fest.  I don't even know the price, but I have plans for simpler versions to follow it up so that everyone can afford something listenable in front of say a Zen Triode amplifier.

I'll certainly keep track of this tread, and try to post some pictures next month when I attempt a production build.

Steve


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« Last Edit: 07/11/09 at 01:11:16 by Steve Deckert »  
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tybee
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #22 - 07/12/09 at 04:16:42
 
Steve,

Thanks for reporting what you shared with me during our recent phone conversation.  You feelings concerning digital problems with filtering and jitter match mine, and I am happy that you will be introducing a non oversampling dac.  I really look forward to hearing you new dac as my journey to pc audio is just beginning.

I would love to retire all of my lp playing routines and simply enjoy the music.
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Chris K
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #23 - 07/12/09 at 04:19:22
 
Hi Steve,
Will the new DAC connect to iPod with a USB to iPod adaptor cable much like a iPod interface with other devices? The iPod connector out feeds direct digital out to USB if I have my facts straight. That way any lossless digital copy on the drive that is 16/44 come right from the HD or SSD device into the DAC. Is this indeed what is being proposed? True hi-fi in your pocket. Wink
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veryoldcat
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #24 - 07/12/09 at 07:39:26
 
Now THAT's an interesting question...

Karl
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SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
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Steve Deckert
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #25 - 07/12/09 at 15:54:19
 
Chris,

Despite what certain companies would have you believe, the IPOD 20 pin connector will not do a direct digital out without internal mods to the IPOD.
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Lon
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #26 - 07/12/09 at 18:35:01
 
That's not entirely true, sorry to say, there's the Wadia iTransport, the only licensed Apple device that extracts a digital file from the iPod.

http://www.wadia.com/products/transports/170i/

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/82178

I have one. . .and it works very well with the Scott Nixon designed DAC within my Peachtree Audio "Decco" integrated amp (tubed pre, FET amp, I'm just using the pre section currently, driving the Integrated in my bedroom system).
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« Last Edit: 07/12/09 at 20:01:31 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Chris K
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #27 - 07/12/09 at 21:41:32
 
Boy that Wadia unit looks very similar to my Mac Mini.
My main computer rig for now until I must break down and get a new MacBook Pro. Cool

It's a little disconcerting to think that a pure bitstream output of any computing device is so confusing for what should be a simple procedure.

Thanks for the quick reply Steve. I want to know more about this.
Maybe Apple can answer this definitively.


OH and I WANT to experience the "ecstasy" of which you speak! Grin
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« Last Edit: 07/12/09 at 21:50:31 by Chris K »  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #28 - 07/13/09 at 02:04:21
 
Chris and Lon,

I was wrong about the Wadia, earlier research on my part was misleading...  It will output ISO USB data (16/44) that it is currently playing. Kind of simulating a Computer sending data to a USB DAC but only after the command state is initiated by an IR remotes serial commands.  

Steve
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ptime
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Re: I want you to experience this ecstasy
Reply #29 - 07/19/09 at 06:08:56
 
can't disagree with the NOS philosophy.  ironic but it seems the more you spend on resolution, the less you enjoy the music (ymmv).  the least enjoyable dac i've heard was an upsampling 192k that sounded artificially enhanced and streched, lacking the natural timbre of how an instrument really sounds (musicians or fans of live unamplified music will know).

NOS designs though (like single driver speakers) are pretty tricky to get right in my experience...inherent higher THD, clipping characteristics, loading, etc...but if done right (like single drivers) can be the holy grail Smiley

wonder...what dac chip is chosen (tda??  pcm??).....and......the type of usb interface (adaptive or async?).  playing devils advocate but decware has always been forthcoming and candid about their designs.  in the end it won't matter if it sounds good (we know) but.... Grin
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