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Suncoast Audiophile Society Message Board Main discussion area (visible to non-members) › DAC's, DAC's, and DAC's

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

Philip R.
inline_phil
Brooksville, FL
Post #: 49
Here we are a mere 28 years after the introduction of the compact disk and still trying to figure out how to make it sound musical. The original concept was based on the Nyquist theorum which stated that to digitally capture an analog signal, you needed to sample it at twice its frequency. So they added about 10% to allow for brickwall filter influences within this range and hence the 44.1KHz standard.

The finest minds of the time believed they understood what was going on mathematically but unfortunately no one in control of this new technology seemed to bother listening to what they were creating.

I remember a reviewer being depressed at its announcement stating that the introduction of the CD would mean "perfect" reproduction (hah!) with no chance for improvement. I believe his name was David Ranada - wonder what he is saying today?

Early units literally sounded like fingernails on a blackboard. At least that is gone (thank God!). Both of the latest links sound reasonable when approaching the issues with digital filter designs. Wonder what they sound like? A shootout would be worthwhile.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 513
FYI, even though I no longer have the Resonessence Labs Invicta DAC, I just read they have released a firmware update enabling DSD playback via USB or SD card input. To date, I've yet to hear another DAC that offered such bass depth and clarity (not even my Bel Canto). Now, if they've been able to "optimize" their digital filters with regard to mids and highs, this device may very well have jumped back to the head of the pack again from a feature and value standpoint. Their latest firmware also enables full SDXC card support, with a (potential) capacity of 2 TB on a single card! Unfortunately, SDXC cards are currently limited to 128 GB, but just think of the possibilities!
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 548
Got to hear the Meitner MA-1 DAC that one of our members has in for audition. My opinion... SWEET! Very musical and analog sounding, without any digital harshness whatsoever. It's also DSD capable (via USB), and the demo DSD track he played from Blue Coast Records was the best digital I've ever heard. However, jury is still out on whether there's enough demand for DSD to get the major labels to offer DSD downloads of their old SACD catalogs, and future recordings. At first listen though, I'm quite smitten with computer streamed DSD!
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 559
Yet another DSD capable DAC... http://www.exasound.c...­

Looks like the manufacturers are jumping on the DSD bandwagon, but we still need the major record labels to do so (and at a fair price point)!
Zoran K.
user 38358072
Saint Petersburg, FL
Post #: 13
I'm a bit (no pun intended) confused about the whole thing. I use JRiver v17 and to the right of the progress bar are three buttons. The one most to the right, when hovered over, opens a pop-up window titled Tools. There you can adjust playback options and other things. As it is set now, 64khz sample rate, 3072 bit rate wave files are passed thru and 44.1 khz, 128 bit rate mp3's are resampled to 96khz, 24bit. So isn't that a DAC of sorts? Then that signal goes to my .... old DacMagic that you know so well ... no that's a line in a song ..... the signal goes to the DAC and is processed and then it goes to my Yamaha RX-V2700 reciever where there is a soundfield option called 2 channel or 7 channel Enhancer which seems to "fatten" the sound. Per the manual it is for digital sources. So another DAC? ... of sorts? I start to wonder if all that processing is a good idea. .... any thoughts?
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 574
Interesting PCM vs. DSD discussion thread over at Whats Best Forum, and a summary of the issues just published at Positive Feedback Online... http://www.positive-f...­

Frankly, it boggles the mind reading about the complexities of all this. Makes vinyl playback look increasingly attractive! biggrin
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 579
The plot thickens! Oppo has released beta firmware enabling DSD playback on their latest 103 and 105 models... http://www.stereophil...­

And highly regarded Norwegian label 2L has added a bunch of stereo and multi-channel DSD tracks to their free high-res download section... http://www.2l.no/hire...­

Hopefully other labels will follow their lead!
Edward M.
user 67800592
Tampa, FL
Post #: 3
The plot thickens! Oppo has released beta firmware enabling DSD playback on their latest 103 and 105 models... http://www.stereophil...­

And highly regarded Norwegian label 2L has added a bunch of stereo and multi-channel DSD tracks to their free high-res download section... http://www.2l.no/hire...­

Hopefully other labels will follow their lead!

i was just reading the same thing. The Oppo bdp-103 seems VERY hard to beat. I am thinking of the bdp-105 cause then i could plug computer right in and still use itunes. $700 more though. Anyone have experience with it?
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 589
I have a BDP-95, which is the predecessor of the BDP-105. The latter (vs. the BDP-103) has a better DAC and better power supply and analog output stage, plus a decent headphone amp! It also offers digital inputs, so you can use it as an outboard DAC as well. IMHO, those features make it worth the $700 premium if you don't already have an outboard DAC, and don't plan on buying one anytime soon. Frankly, I would have upgraded to the BDP-105 if I had not just purchased a Bel Canto DAC 3.5 MKII. Oppo has a 30 day return policy, so the cost of trying (either) in your setup would be negligible.
Edward M.
user 67800592
Tampa, FL
Post #: 4
Good info. Thanks!
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