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DAC's, DAC's, and DAC's

A former member
Post #: 37
If we have a chance it might be fun to try the AN in your system.

You point out the quality that most draws me to the AN, the organic nature of the sound - instrumentation, vocals, percussion and soundstage. I find that to me the highs are "just right", but after comparing the Invicta it's clear that the AN bass, while satisfying to me for the most part and non-fatiguing is less tight and articulate than the Invicta.

I've always wanted to hear the ARC DAC8 and the Berkeley alpha, and would love to hear that Meitner in my system one day (not that I can afford one!).
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 405
Thanks Jon!

I strongly encourage all our club members to arrange small group get-togethers (max 4-5 attendees), for auditioning/comparing gear. Better yet, we can help one another out by lending gear to one another, when feasible, for an extended audition.

I'll be happy to have a few more "DAC-curious" members over for an extended listen at my place, to further compare the Invicta, AudioNote, Bel Canto, or others. However, will probably need to wait until August.
A former member
Post #: 1
Alan,

This is the classic example of system matching. Shootouts are fun but in the end it's what the entire system sounds like that makes this hobby!

Ken Taraszka, MD
A. Colin F.
Acolin
Sarasota, FL
Post #: 276
http://www.tonepublic...­

page 163

Touch Me
The Meitner MA-1 Digital
to Analog Converter
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 407
And another recent rave review of the EMM Labs DAC2X... http://www.computerau...­

BTW, I just received the new beta firmware for the Invicta DAC, which includes FOUR new digital filter options. On first listen, two of them (the "apodizing" and "linear phase" filters) add significantly more "percussive attack" to the music, with sharper highs as well. Won't be able to get any extended listening until next week, but looks like the Resonessence engineers are heading in the right direction. I smell another Bel Canto vs. Invicta mini-shootout in my future!
George L.
user 13945598
Seffner, FL
Post #: 26
Ready when you are! biggrin
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 410
For the past couple days, I've had the opportunity to directly compare the Invicta with a (still breaking in) Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB (with VBS power supply and Reference Power Cord). I also installed the newest beta digital filters for the Invicta, and found the "Minimum Phase IIR" and Linear Phase, Apodizing" filters a major improvement over the stock filters we heard at our shootout. Turns out, the Bel Canto also has a "hotter" RCA analog output (2.5 V) vs. the more common 2.0 V output of the Invicta, so volume matching was critical for serious comparison. Thus far (in my setup), I have found both DAC's to be virtually equivalent in providing a highly detailed, non-fatiguing, and musical soundstage. The Bel Canto still has a slight edge in overall percussive attack and treble extension, while the Invicta has more low-level bass detail, and a better S/N ratio. IMHO, the additional features of the Invicta (headphone outs, SD card playback, and future DSD capability) make it an overall better value, but Resonessence Labs is the "new kid on the block," so future resale value and company success remains to be seen. As my audition period has ended, I'm (reluctantly) sending it back to Kelowna, B.C. Canada, but predict it will achieve more critical acclaim in the months ahead, as the Resonessence Labs engineers continue upgrading the firmware and capabilities, and more audiophiles get to hear it.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 414
In the current Sept (print) issue of Stereophile, Jon Iverson posts an interesting follow up review of the Bricasti M1 DAC, where he discusses the improved sound resulting from Bricasti's new "minimum phase" digital filters. According to Jon, "post" ringing (digital echo's), even if relatively higher amplitude, are more "natural" sounding than equally balanced "pre" and "post" ringing effects. I presume the corollary is the difference between even vs. odd order harmonics.

Along those same lines, the Resonessence Labs engineers have also posted a lengthy explanation about why DAC's need digital filters, and the various "filter flavors" their Invicta DAC now sports... http://resonessencela...­

Both articles are definitely worth the read, and go a long ways towards explaining why the sound of a DAC depends on more than just the DAC chipset, clock, power supply, and analog output stage.

Apparently, digital playback is a LOT more complicated than simple 0's and 1's, and digital filtering (not to mention upsampling and oversampling) can really have a significant impact on performance.

Turntables and vinyl aren't looking quite as intimidating as before!
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 415
Here's another helpful article (from Ayre) discussing various digital filter "flavors"...
http://www.ayre.com/p...­
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 438
So many new DAC's coming out now that it's almost impossible to keep up! Benchmark has announced their new DAC2 (link) which boasts some pretty impressive specs, including native DSD playback. At this rate, we might need to schedule a "DAC Shootout" every other month! biggrin
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Founded Feb 3, 2011

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