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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 #: 70
I originally bought a BDP-103 believing that it was a great value, and it was. However, the audio, although VERY good, was just not top shelf. OPPO's return policy credited me the full amount to which it was applied to a BDP-105. I have never regretted doing this.

This unit is a bargain in many ways, the first that it creates the best Blu-ray picture I have ever seen but the second is that the Sabre32 DACs are far superior to the ones used in the BDP-103. Plus the power supply is considerably better. It took about 20 hours of play time to break in the 103 and about 100 hours in the 105. But when it does, it will really amaze you especially with revealing the detail and timbre in the woodwinds.

You can read a full review in my blog at http://audiophile-musings.blogspot.com/­.
Edward M.
user 67800592
Tampa, FL
Post #: 5
Thank you
A former member
Post #: 18
I'm sorry I missed you guys last time I was in town! I was set to bring my lady too but my girl was sick.

The DSP (Digital Signal Processing) you are referring to in JRMC (J. River) is run at 64bit internally. It's pretty well-established if you are doing any upsampling, it's better to have the player do that, and then send to the DAC hardware. You can even get away with quite a bit of digital volume control; the bit-perfect crowd won't approve, but it's inaudible (at least mathematically) if used sparingly.

On the DSD note, I am eagerly awaiting the Zodiac Gold firmware update to make it a full-fledged DSD DAC. I have a large backup of DSD now, over 2K albums as .dff files ready for JRMC playback when the Gold is updated. Just yesterday I set up their new ASIO driver for Windows which allows 384kHz playback over USB.

Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 601
Hmmm.! Looks like DSD over Ethernet (via S/PDIF) is feasible, though perhaps not quite as resolving as USB based solutions... http://dsd-guide.com/...­

The Simple Design streamer/converter could be a Squeezebox Touch replacement, which handles both PCM and DSD formats... http://www.computerau...­

It gives hope to folks like me using a remotely located NAS as the heart of a whole-house audio system.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 640
Cary Audio has finally released their much anticipated 24/192 Async USB/SPDIF DAC's, featuring digital engineering by Gordon Rankin...
Solid State DAC-100... http://www.caryaudio....­, and
Tubed equivalent DAC-100t... http://www.caryaudio....­

Hope we'll have an opportunity to demo these at a future meeting!
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 768
I've given up trying to keep up with all the new models of PCM (+/- DSD) DAC's being released. However, Berkeley Audio Design has announced their forthcoming Alpha DAC Reference, retailing for a mere $14,000... http://cybwiz.blogspo...­

What's most interesting are their comments (and design philosophy) re DSD playback...

... For all of those reasons, DSD capability for the Alpha DAC Reference Series is provided by an included state of the art software application that provides either real time conversion of DSD 1x and DSD 2x to 176.4 kHz 24 bit PCM during playback or conversion to 176.4 kHz 24 bit AIFF or WAV files. The software application is included in the price of the Alpha DAC Reference Series and is compatible with either Windows OS or Mac OS based music servers...

The Berkeley Audio engineering team is pretty highly regarded. However, like Mark Waldrep (and Bel Canto, others), they claim it's better to convert single-bit DSD to multi-bit PCM for ideal playback. Certainly makes one question the long term viability of DSD, as a recording and playback medium (especially at their current price points)!
Mike K
user 14121317
Tampa, FL
Post #: 167
Are SACD's even being released any more?

I found some on Elusive Disc.

I wonder how many they hope to sell at 30 bucks each?

Philip R.
inline_phil
Brooksville, FL
Post #: 146
With high-resolution formats such as FLAC 24-352, DSD, double DSD, becoming the reference streaming formats, I tried a few on my OPPO BDP-105 to see what it could and could not do.

While this OPPO is a nice piece of gear, it's chip set does not have the ability to decode ultra high resolution tracks (DSD 128 and FLAC 24-352). This is not a function of firmware but rather hardware as confirmed by the OPPO service department.

Such sites as Blue Coast records, SuperHiRez, DowloadsNow, 2L, et. al., have free downloads for you to test various formats on your gear. Verifying that your rig can handle a specific format before purchasing that format can save you a lot of time, so be forewarned. As it is with cars, it is best to try before you buy.

This has been a FYI/public service message from one of your local SAS members.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 852
PS Audio has announced their new DSD-ready PerfectWave DirectStream DAC, with a twist... claiming improved performance for PCM tracks too, by internally converting PCM to DSD! A club member sent us the official Press Release, but Stereophile's blurb (and reader comments) offers a better perspective, drawing comparisons to the new (similarly DSD-centric) Berkeley Alpha DAC Reference... http://www.audiostrea...­
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 856
Interesting! Berkeley purports that converting DSD to PCM (via computer software), and then using a multi-bit DAC chip and subsequent filters yields the best sound. Conversely, PSAudio claims that converting PCM to DSD, and then working with a single-bit FPGA for the conversion (plus downstream filters), is best!

Can't wait to hear about some listening comparisons!

In the meantime, this (somewhat technical) presentation by "mad-scientist" engineer Ted Smith (designer of the DirectStream DAC) lays out the differences.




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Founded Feb 3, 2011

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Alan N, Edward Matura, Ernie Kautzmann, francis endryck, Richard Setera
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