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  »  New  BiDat: One more output..  Output Quandry...  Didital Things  Forum     5  27895  06-01-2005
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  »  New  The Museatex Bidat pages...  An interesting article.......  Didital Things  Forum     54  288975  02-11-2008
09-28-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5455
Reply to: 5455
Digi Redux; Drive 1 transport and iDAT-44+ DAC

Well, I finally found and implemented a digital front end that I can live with.  I have been so cynical about digital up to now that I have kept and used an old, cheap Sony player (albeit one actually made in Japan...) because up to now it seemed like anything "better" was also lots worse.  Let me explain.

Where to begin with the faults of digital playback?  It has long seemed to me that digital was the worst SS had to offer, with a near lack of harmonics, a disjointed sound spectrum and a time sense that is straight out of the Twilight Zone, not to mention The Devil's own noise.  So far any attempts to get more detail, more extension. better harmonics, etc., have always been accompanied by less sense that I was listening to music.

I heard and liked the Cal Audio 1-box players years ago, but they did not hold up in my esteem, too fuzzy, and all the new stuff that keeps coming out in the way of upsampling, SACD, etc., just seems worse at worst or at best no better. I had heard the Meitner/Museatex Bidat DAC a couple of times and liked it/them, and then I heard an IDAT in a friend's studio, and I felt like I was on to something.

Years passed.  I found and began talking with John Wright, a former associate of Ed Meitner, the original "slippery algorithm", IDAT/Bidat guy who was instrumental in the early going of DAC then eventually moved on and came up with SACD for Sony, etc.   John Wright preferred the original IDAT/Bidat as a platform and he wound up doing maintenance, repair and upgrades on old Meitner Cos. stuff, including Mielor and Museatex.  After some discussion with John I wound up getting an iDAT-44+ off Audiogon. The iDAT-44+ is +/- a very stripped down IDAT that John has worked his magic on.  Many of his "upgrades" include ripping parts out of the original gear (and NOT repalcing them...).

I got a German made Accustic Arts Drive 1 transpot because I don't need upsampling, just something stable that is in sync with the iDAT44+'s 16/44 sampling rate.  The Drive 1 is very simple and built like a tank, and it seems to be a nice transport based on the Philips Pro drive unit.  It also has a very nice remote.  The Drive 1 simply leaves my old bypassed Sony player in the dust; it does everything better-better, meaning it does more parts and also the whole better.  IMO it compares very well with analog.  It's nice to get all the "fidelity" without losing the performance or getting a headache for a change.  I hope I can ignore the Drive 1 the same way I've ignored my Sota TT for almost 20 years.

The "Big Deal" with the iDAT, as I understand it, is the smart algorithm and a totally system-synchronised power supply.  I think that's about it.

The Drive 1/iDAT-44+ combination, along with the old Belkin Synopsis digital cable, gives me what I wanted, namely more and better cues with no downside.  There is more ambience and better "harmonics" (it's still digital...), and perfect pitch, lots of nice little details that organically sugest the performance is right.  Timing is not the same as my TT but it has plenty of motivation and it is credible in its own right; most important, it serves the music very well.  It does a great job with the Music and Arts Furtwangler 1942 Beethoven's 9th, and pretty much everything else, too.

IMO, high-speed reel-to-reel master tape is the Holy Grail of sources, and this is what I used to set up my analog.  Now I have used my analog to set up this digital and it is good; not a "perfect match", but very nice.  In fact, I am presently using the digital bass to help re-dial my tonearm damping and VTA since I messed with them in misguided attempts to compensate for then-undiagnosed effects of bad electricity and bad 6N6P tubes!

The iDAT44+ unit takes a while to break in initially and it also takes 20 minutes to over an hour to get correct each session, at least it does as I use it.  The difference/improvement in the quality of the sound once it is warmed up is astounding, so bear that in mind if you audition one.

John Wright asked me specifically to try the iDAT-44+ with the wall wart PS for a while before I used a battery.  Soon I will post about results with battery powered DAC.

Best regards,
Paul S

09-29-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5457
Reply to: 5455
The Meitner's Museatex stuff.

I use to have IDAT-44 and IDAT-M (automobile version). I did not found them interesting, though they were not stock versions. Admittedly all Museatex stuff kind of “need work”, and even the stock Bidat was quite dead DAC.

It is still not know why the damn IDAT-based converters sounded so good. Theoretically it could be blamed the IDAT adaptive algorism the switches the processing architectures depends of the music speed. There are however much more advanced architecture then this, thought they not necessary sound right. So, looking at all of it I would blame in Bidat (that suppose to be Baby IDAT) the uniquely-successful output that somehow “clicked” with the given output filter – altogether producing very interesting and very non-annoying result.

BTW, I have a custom build Bidat with a custom MOSFET output stage, external PS and custom output filter stage. This custom output filter uses no capacitors – very interesting topology. If anyone wishes to have it I might let it go.

Rgs, Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-29-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5459
Reply to: 5457
Now that you mention it
Romy, you mentioned the output separately and John Wright also puts great emphasis on what he calls the "analog" part of the DAC.  I haven't even taken the cover off the thing yet, but the way the power supply is implemented is so simple, it plays directly into my plan to use a battery to power the thing.  I have the battery but they sent me the wrong charger, so I am waiting for the right charger to try this out.  I have the leads and adaptors made up, ready to go when the right charger gets here.

Like I said, at this point the difference in the sound as the thing warms up and stabilizes is very great; it is the difference between the more typical annoying digital and very attractive, interesting sound.  Warmed up and stabalized, the noise drops off altogether and the sound becomes very "organic".

I don't understand about "clock" functions, but John certainly does, and as I understand it the "clock" in these things is all-pervasive, meaning that the system responds to just one clock rather than being "confused" by several time signatures.  If that sounds ignorant, mea culpa.

Best regards,
Paul
09-29-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 5461
Reply to: 5459
The prejudges against the buttery-powered DACS

I remember there was a guy in Chicago (Chig?) who covered Bidat to battery power – I juts do not remember already what was his comments. Chig, if you still around then say Meow.

I personally do not believe in buttery powered DAC like Bidat (IDAT). Bidat sucks 29W and it is a lot for battery power. Also, what battery power does? A few years ago I converted my CD transport to battery power – and lost all dynamics…. was not good. Surely DACs are sensitive to bad electricity and Bidat is VERY sensitive. But isn’t it better to address the problem with electricity globally instead of putting one single unit of the chains on battery power? I would not mention that Bidat sound better when it completely hot and it need a few hours to reach the cruse temperate…. How long time will you heat it on battery power?

A few years back, what I had IDAT-M, although I did not like how it sounded I put THAT DAC on battery power. There were not differences…. So,l I do not buy inot it....

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-29-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 5462
Reply to: 5461
It's OK because I am doing it for the wrong reason
I agree with your observations, and my own misgivings swirl around exactly the points you raise.  In addition, I have tried battery phono stage and all it had to offer was quieter "background", everything else was worse, despite the wild and exotic praises of the original inventors.  Likewise, battery TT was just a wet noodle; but this involves a motor, like your transport.

The truth is, at this point I have no personal reason/expectation to try the battery; I am trying it just because John highly recommends it, and maybe I harbor just a little hope that I can beat the power company for once.  But you have to know I have my own doubts, and the way I am doing it is just expensive enough that it will make me feel stupid if it doesn't work.  OTOH, if it does turn out poorly it won't be the first time I was wrong.

I got a big-ish battery, not the "flashlight" type, and it "should" serve the iDAT's more limited requirements, including enough current and run time to warm it up.  Or, I might just heat it up off the wall wart and then switch it over, since I am not messing with the old transformer supply but instead I will keep the original system intact and just basically flip a switch to go to battery.  Anyway, I will tell all after I try it.

Meanwhile, I want to solve electricity problems "globally", too.  Wouldn't THAT be nice!  I hope I get the good news right away as soon as some genius actually puts the wood to this problem.  BTW, how's the APS coming along...?

I promise to tell the good, the bad and the ugly about this battery.

I suppose the upside of my ambivalence is that this is not a situation where I am counting on the battery to make this DAC work for me.  So far I have been careful not to make irreversable changes, so I can always go back to AC if I don't like the battery, use the battery to run a robot vacuum cleaner or something.

Best regards,
Paul S

"I like America.  Name me another society that has gone from barbarism to decadance without bothering to create a civilization in between."  Oscar Wilde
10-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 5599
Reply to: 5462
Battery for the iDAT-44+
Like I said above, I planned from the start to try battery power just because John Wright recommended it, and it seemed like up to that point we were talking the same language, which was borne out when i listened to the unit as I received it.  So, I did not have targeted objectives that prompted the switch to battery.

I did some research and wound up with an Odyssey 625PC battery (12V, 17 Ah) and an Odyssey 6V charger.  I made up a DC adaptor for the iDAT and got evrything set out.  I started out by warming up the iDAT with its transformer, then I listened with the transformer, then went to battery, then back to tranny, then battery again.

In this case I will use the battery all the time because it makes better sound and better music.  It either eliminates or greatly reduces the sort of cotton-y quality that normally serves to surround notes, and the whole spectrum is clearer, better timed, better "harmonics" and either much better dynamics or a better representation of dynamics because the broad-spectrum noise is pretty much gone.  The acoustic environment is expanded out with the sound.

Basically, it's all good at this point.  After 3 hours of play time the battery still measured 12.65 V.

I think the iDAT-44+ has a pretty simple power supply; the unit is small.

As a point of reference, electricity was good today.

Best regards,
Paul S
10-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 5600
Reply to: 5599
Better supplies or better electricity?
 Paul S wrote:
… a better representation of dynamics because the broad-spectrum noise is pretty much gone… ….electricity was good today.
Paul, it is an interesting result but I do see a predicament of what you are saying. The eaten dynamics and broad-spectrum noise are very emblematic characteristics of bad electricity. So, I do not feel that you had a good electricity day. Spend more time with your battery-power DAC and find a day when you will hear no difference in noise department. THEN look what would be a difference in sound with and without battery…


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-14-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 5601
Reply to: 5600
Yes, I should compare it again periodically.
True enough, Romy, and who knows, there might be a day or a late night when it sounds no different or even better with the wall power.  Meantime, there is just no down side to using the battery for the iDAT-44+, despite my bad experience with the battery phono stage.  Whatever the reasons, the battery powered iDAT-44+ just crushes the best I've gotten from the iDAT from wall power so far; but I'll keep plugging at it, starting the next time the phono stage sounds especially good.

BTW, readers, I am not "recommending battery power", per se, just reporting on this PARTICULAR situation.  Like I said, I have not even had the cover off the iDAT-44+.  Still, I can say that it is "not immune" to power grid nasties, and it just happens to sound great with the large-ish battery I happened to get.  I would not assume from this that "battery power is the way to go"; except in this case it is.  This is also a very good DAC, though, so it is not just the power I'm talking about but also the fact that the battery allows the thing to show its stuff more of the time.  I really enjoyed a re-mastered (EMI) Callas 1965 France "Tosca".  Unbelievably great pseudo-stereo from original mono.

Best regards,
Paul S
10-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 9
Post ID: 5746
Reply to: 5601
On a good day for vinyl
Electricity was very good for the K&K/vinyl today so I again compared the battery power to wall power for the iDAT-44+.  To make a long story short, the battery was still better in terms of music, including better focus, which does not come from stripping for a change.  I usually warm up the unit off the wall power, then switch it over for listening.  When I listen before I switch to battery, then listen after I switch, the unit starts sounding better and better over about 5 minutes, then it improves very slowly like it does on wall polwer, depending on how long I've warmed it up.  As I have said, the unit sounds much better hot.

I don't know what this proves but I will mostly be using battery power to increase my chances of getting at least that level of performance.

After 4+ hours of listening the Odyssey battery still tested 12.68V

I forgot to mention it before, but part of the "+" upgrade is class A operation.


Paul S
10-27-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,330
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 5748
Reply to: 5746
The minimum cruse temperature.
 Paul S wrote:
… When I listen before I switch to battery, then listen after I switch, the unit starts sounding better and better over about 5 minutes, then it improves very slowly like it does on wall polwer, depending on how long I've warmed it up. As I have said, the unit sounds much better hot.
Interesting, they would not be absolute numbers but what I feel my digital have the following warm up time until they reach an optimum (stable) sonic performance.
 
Bidat – 2 Hours, 31W consumption
Pacific – 3/4 Hours, 200W consumption
Lavry– 1/4 Hours (probably because the recalibrations), 21W consumption

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-28-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 13233
Reply to: 5748
The Same, Only Better, and the Price of Performance
fiogf49gjkf0d
The iDAT-44+ just got back from a visit with its dad, John Wright, to repair an intermittant fault and to work his current round of "upgrades" to the sound.  Also, over the course of re-integrating the fixed and improved iDAT, I re-thought the way I had the Accustic Arts transport mounted, and I took it off its "isolation platform" and put it down onto the carpeted floor, on top of a thick board, near where the floor intersects the outside wall. The thing already has special feet, and I was beginning to think it was altogether too wobbly on its special platform.  I confess I was trying to push the new iDAT qualities, to see how far I could take them.

So, how does it all sound now?  Well, it's the same, only different; basically, it's more "literal" and "immediate" now.  Given a decent CD (another story...), it sounds very much like a direct microphone feed at the venue.  Very "strong", yet not more forward (more on this in a bit).  And how funny is it that this round of digital changes closely parallels what I've just recently done to/for my phono stage?

Naturally, the "more literal" thing comes at a price.  When I really got it going this morning, the electricity was good, and the iDAT was running off its battery.  As I listened to the suprisingly big and immediate sound, I couldn't help but notice that my Accustic Arts CD transport is actually a good deal more "literal" itself than I've thought it was up to now, to the point where it might well be too much in some systems.  Since I've tried it on and off it's platform, I think this has something, but not much at all, to do with the current "change" in the AA's contribution to the sound.

Anyway, since the transport and the ML2s are still dependent on wall power, you might expect that the digitally sourced system remains vulnerable and variable because of this; and you'd be correct if you thought that.  Never mind that I had also previously thought that the Accustic Arts transport was not all that sensitive to BEP, and I had thought it was good mainly because it was not bad.  With the new iDAT, it's obvious that the transport is very good indeed on good power, and the differences between the other gear working at or near its best have become considerably more obvious.

So far, this system change is exactly what I would have done for myself, if I knew how.  Like I said, the Sound, including bass, is very strong, and it somehow manages to be strong and very immediate without pushing forward.  In fact, the digital soundfield has also grown a lot, to keep pace with the phono, which is to say, it is a matter of what the recording affords, rather than the DAC imposing its own, typical limits or shape on the soundfield.

A significant increase in the clarity of the sound has also got me thinking of comparing digital cables again, to hear again (or not...) whether the particular benefits afforded by the Synopsis are still the way to go, or...

To keep this in perspective, the BEP has not wrecked a concert, so far; it's just lots better with good power.

And yes, I really enjoyed the serious, complex music I got from several CDs today, as well as dancing around to some pop.

Paul S

 
06-01-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 13676
Reply to: 13233
Interesting Results Following Cable Swap
fiogf49gjkf0d

I'm not sure exactly what I expected from swapping the digital cable at this point, but what I got was not it.

Before I bought the Belkin Synopsis cable I just swapped out, I had sought out and purchased an Acoustic Revive cable, on the strength of a recommendation from a friend who then owned a small recording studio, which is the first place I heard the original IDAT.  This cable is/was supposed to be what all the hot-rod Japanese pros used to make all those recordings the audiophiles (and other recordists...) flip over; so I thought, why not? I put the cable in but never really used it much before I reconfigured my system when I wound up needing to move my CD transport, when I went from wall power to battery, and the AR cable was too short to span it.  A Synopsis cable happened to be available, cheap, so I bought it, plugged it in, and never looked back.

As we have discussed, the Synopsis cable is a low-pass filter that is mostly good because it is not bad, and it ameliorates a number of the digital problems that other cables either allow or they highlight them.  The Acoustic Revive, on the other hand, is more along the lines of the "direct microphone feed" thing that I seem to be getting a lot of these days.

One of the original mods to my iDAT was to convert it to full Class A operation.  And I suspect that one of the mods John did this time involved messing with the operating points.  The sound is as I reported above.  It is not really "hard", but it is right on the edge of hard, and I was a little concerned that the AR cable might push it over the edge.  But I went with my greedy "intuition", and this did not happen, at all.

Like I said, this is the sort of sound one gets sitting in the studio and listening right off the mics.  This means it is VERY dependent on everything being in order to get the most from it.  Given the dearth of great CDs, I am very pleased that the sound rarely sinks into stridency, as one might reasonably expect it to, even with less-than-good recordings.

The oddest thing here, according to my initial expectations, is that the HF was not made worse or too much of in any way, nor is noise more obvious than it was with the Belkin Synopsis.  The AR cable used to pass more noise than the Belkin, so I suspect the lowered HF noise now owes to John Wright's most recent mods.

Did I mention that bass is also better, on a cross-comparison basis?

Paul S

06-01-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 173
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 13
Post ID: 13677
Reply to: 13676
How much harsh can you take?
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:

I'm not sure exactly what I expected from swapping the digital cable at this point, but what I got was not it.

Before I bought the Belkin Synopsis cable I just swapped out, I had sought out and purchased an Acoustic Revive cable, on the strength of a recommendation from a friend who then owned a small recording studio, which is the first place I heard the original IDAT.  This cable is/was supposed to be what all the hot-rod Japanese pros used to make all those recordings the audiophiles (and other recordists...) flip over; so I thought, why not? I put the cable in but never really used it much before I reconfigured my system when I wound up needing to move my CD transport, when I went from wall power to battery, and the AR cable was too short to span it.  A Synopsis cable happened to be available, cheap, so I bought it, plugged it in, and never looked back.

As we have discussed, the Synopsis cable is a low-pass filter that is mostly good because it is not bad, and it ameliorates a number of the digital problems that other cables either allow or they highlight them.  The Acoustic Revive, on the other hand, is more along the lines of the "direct microphone feed" thing that I seem to be getting a lot of these days.

One of the original mods to my iDAT was to convert it to full Class A operation.  And I suspect that one of the mods John did this time involved messing with the operating points.  The sound is as I reported above.  It is not really "hard", but it is right on the edge of hard, and I was a little concerned that the AR cable might push it over the edge.  But I went with my greedy "intuition", and this did not happen, at all.

Like I said, this is the sort of sound one gets sitting in the studio and listening right off the mics.  This means it is VERY dependent on everything being in order to get the most from it.  Given the dearth of great CDs, I am very pleased that the sound rarely sinks into stridency, as one might reasonably expect it to, even with less-than-good recordings.

The oddest thing here, according to my initial expectations, is that the HF was not made worse or too much of in any way, nor is noise more obvious than it was with the Belkin Synopsis.  The AR cable used to pass more noise than the Belkin, so I suspect the lowered HF noise now owes to John Wright's most recent mods.

Did I mention that bass is also better, on a cross-comparison basis?

Paul S

Hello Paul,

Could it be that your DAC now sounds "smooth" enough to be fed with the "naked" sound?
Although limited, my experience so far lead me to believe that "smooth" transparency is immensely forgiving because of it's stressless nature.

Best,
Ric


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
06-01-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 13678
Reply to: 13677
By Measure
fiogf49gjkf0d
Ric, I thought about this before writing the "report", and I have to say that transients are a good deal "sharper" now, so the "edges" seem sharper, in a way, but still without "going over the edge".  If to surmise with respect to the recent mod, perhaps "a larger portion of the signal goes to music, while a smaller portion goes to noise."  With respect to the cable swap, perhaps "the signal now has less need of the Synopsis benefits."

I still feel it would be an overstatement to call the results "smooth", since there is a certain "impending edge" that was not there before, of the sort that can wear you down after hours spent listening to takes at the studio.  I can listen to the 1943 Furtwangler Beethoven 9 straight through with no problem; but on axis and loud there remains the "edgy" feeling that you don't know what might happen, and it can create some tension unless you are really absorbed listening.  For "easy listening", you might want to get off axis.  I don't want to stress this "edge" thing, because it is not really a big deal; but neither do I want to ignore it or gloss it over.

FWIW, I prefer things now to before, and I am leaving it as is.  YMMV.


Best regards,
Paul S
06-02-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 13680
Reply to: 13678
A Strange Tale From the Immanent Edge that Isn't
fiogf49gjkf0d
Trying to gather and get my thoughts in order, in order to share them, I just remembered a recent mod that John Wright happened to mention specifically. While I believe John regards - and guards - as proprietary his ideas for reworking this gear, I also believe he will not mind if I share in generic terms that he added some sort of proprietary shielding at the inputs (and possible the outputs, as well). I do not want to speculate at this time whether or how this may play into changes in the sound I am noticing.

Regarding the cable swap again, along with the recent mods, it may well be that the Acoustic Revive cable either needs further use to develop fully or it may still change as it "reconditions" from further use.  None the less, it appears at this point that I have "successfully" turned my CD playback chain into a stock 16/44 CD "listening tool", a CD version of what I've done to/for my K&K phono stage (qv).  And since my regular experience with digital is limited to crappy computer server and generic CD, I want to make it clear that my remarks are NOT about "Digital", but they are only the flux generated by my reflections on my own experience with my own limited CD playback.

Circling the "edge" thing, the sense is of listening so far into the recording that its implementation becomes "plain".  There can be a unique (to me) sense of "pixilation" at times, and for the first time in my listening experience I am aware of a sense that seems on further reflection to be pretty much the opposite of the "edge" thing, or at least it counterbalances it.  This "opposite" effect is that even the hardest notes and impacts seem exactly and specifically devoid of the "edge" that their "sudden and unexpected appearances" might suggest.  Specifically, it is not really sharp -  ever, at least not compared to my vinyl. This can make for a certain very subtle rubbery quality on plucked upright bass, or at any rate I presently associate these things.  On further reflection, I can imagine that my sense of the "edges" will change as I get used to the sound, especially in view of the fact that this "edge" never "cuts", despite its new, sudden forcefulness.  Heard in this way, recordings become instead a little "threadbare", not from stretching timbre or relative diminishment of dynamics, but a little like a cloth held up to the light from a sunny window.  Everything "lines up" a great deal better than the smeared, eratically striated CD of times past, but you can "see the lines", as it were.

Who could blame anyone if they thought all this was something to avoid?  But this is where the path to digital "harmonics", "ambience", "decay", inflection, intent, etc., has taken me, and I do not want to give up what Ive gained in terms of musical interest and insight - for myself.  Who is surprised that, once again, the price of the extra musical information may include a sense of the medium, itself?

Paul S
12-28-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 16
Post ID: 15322
Reply to: 13680
Once More, With Battery
fiogf49gjkf0d
Not sure now what the problem with battery power was earlier.  It might have been a tiny dab of solder on the input adaptor. ..  Whatever it was, it's gone now, and I am back to battery power!

Basically, the recent mod makes far better sense with battery than it does off the wall wart.  Battery power solves the "impending edge" issues, and the "threadbare" thing is bye-bye, although the character of the thing remains very "studio-centric", with what I call a "session" sound character.

It's also very "sorted out", and much more comfortable, with the battery power.

Paul S
02-24-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 17
Post ID: 19049
Reply to: 15322
Battery Power; Now More Than Ever
fiogf49gjkf0d
I touched on local electricity problems in a recent electricity post.  Briefly, the local nuclear plant has been shut down by concerned politicians after "leaks" were detected.  Setting aside mutated flora and fauna, sound has been worse more of the time since the shutdown. 

Meanwhile, since I recently sent my only working phono cartridge to be refurbished by Ortofon DK, and there is no FM here to speak of, I am stuck with CDs.  I generally warm up the iDAT DAC off a wall wart, then switch to battery for attentive listening.  Lately, the difference in sound between battery and wall wart is HUGE!  In fact, I can't stay in the room with wall power!  Sadly, there are times when it sounds as though the system never warms up.  Other times, all is well with a battery powering the iDAT, although just switching the iDAT back to wall power immediately ruins everything.

Again, although this iDAT 44+ now runs Class A, and it is fully balanced, it is a physically "whimpy" little unit (maybe 3.5 lbs, mostly the case...), with a small board and small parts, all matched to expectations for gain and 2V output, and it very likely "asks little" from a power source.  Obviously, in this case, a big--ish 12V battery provides ample power for this unit.  But YMMV with battery power for other applications.  In fact, I suspect that most "high end" DACs with "overbuilt" PS might not be suited to battery power.  Likewise, other components, in general.  Compared to the iDAT 44+, my Drive 1 CD transport is gigantic (something like 35 lbs...)!  I have not yet run the numbers, but with all those big caps - not to mention a motor - I doubt it would "work" to run this transport with a battery.

Paul S
02-24-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 289
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 18
Post ID: 19050
Reply to: 19049
Digital should run off of batteries
fiogf49gjkf0d
I think digital source components are the most sensitive to powerline garbage. They should all be designed to run off batteries. In terms of sensitivity I would rank components like this: 1. Digital Source  2. Solid State Preamp  3. Solid State Amp  4. Tube Preamp   5. Tube Amp   6. Turntable.
02-25-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,069
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 19051
Reply to: 19050
Designed to Run Off Batteries
fiogf49gjkf0d

While I am very cynical about any PS "protecting the unit from bad AC", I do think a PS can be "better" or "worse" in practical terms.  In other words, not all PS are created equal as they affect/effect Sound.  It may well be that my iDAT has a crappy PS, or at least it might be comparatively crappy with wall power.  However, here is one example (which proves the possibility...) where the "remaining" wimpy PS is perfectly fine when the unit is driven by a battery.  In this case, the guy who "created" this particular DAC actually did recommend battery power from the start, although the unit came with a wall wart, and I had to buy and rig up the battery, etc.  But what the Hell...  Adding that stuff at the factory would have tripled the unit cost, maybe more; but designing it for battery may have lowered the unit cost, in this case.

Best regards,
Paul S

03-01-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 236
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 20
Post ID: 19055
Reply to: 19051
Evolving battery technology
fiogf49gjkf0d
It is worth making the point that new technology such as Lithium iron phosphate batteries has changed the game when it comes to running digital. These things have no memory, do not suffer from staying charged, and have really very acceptable energy densities and costs. There is no reason why anything digital should run off the mains, and for the cost of a PurePower 3000 you could make a system that ran a moderately powered SET. 
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