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10-04-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 21
Post ID: 8443
Reply to: 8418
OK, some bobber really of USB.

Well, I admit that I was clueless on the subject but I was intrigued and I consulted my engineering recourses.  It turned out that what I proposed above was not exactly accurate: for instance regular computers do not use I2S bas interface…

To make the long story short: For a computer the USB port is a devise of the same hierarchy as sound card and there is not different for a computer to where output stream: to a driver on the sound card or to the driver the sit behind the USP port designation. With identical drivers used the ASE/EDU interface has fundamentally lower jitter interface, where the min jitter for USB is not even included in the USB standard. So, with identical design (more of the time used) the USB has no chance to be superior.

There is a catch however. With proper design, when USB is made not for utilitarian purposes but for high quality transfer, the USB has internal chance to be way more advanced. The ASE/EDU is forward-only interface where stream flows only in one direction with data mixed with clock marks. The USB is full duplex or bi-directional interface where stream flows in both ends. This enables designers to put a clock that might everything on the receiver side (DAC) and let this clock to manage the USB’s and even reader timing. USB sends data in burps by requests of by scheduled timing, this marks all might be managed by receiver side clock. In ASE/EDU the receiver shell recognize the timing marks and PLL or re-clock data. In USB there are no needs for PLL or re-clocking as the data arrives at the marks of the original clock. The USB in this case acts like an elephant that sticks a long trunk to another devise and sucks juice… according to my consultants this USB implementation is the most proper way to do the things. Or course no one knows HOW the USB is managed even if a DAC has USB port…

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
12-09-2008 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 22
Post ID: 9117
Reply to: 8338
An audiophile grade server: The Linux Solution
fiogf49gjkf0d
 scooter wrote:
Gentlemen:

...*Regarding playback, I misspoke in my original post of an "Audiophile music server." Upon further reflection, this is an oxymoron, if not a moronic phrase. I think it is highly unlikely that a dedicated audiophile CD player will be beat by a home-brewed or commercially available music server:


I think you were on the right track, and I think that a *properly* implemented music server can beat the pants off of a "audiophile" quality music CD transport.

 scooter wrote:


- The microcomputer used for a music server is unable to perform specialized application roles at top-tier levels. The microcomputer's operating system and hardware are too generalist, too buggy, too noisy and have too much stuff going on in the background


And therein lies the problem. People using the wrong hardware, i.e., common desktop machines or laptops. Others try to build machines with common PC parts posing as *music servers*, and they are almost no different than you standard OEM machine. Then they saddle them with bloated --and most importantly *proprietary*-- operating systems.

 scooter wrote:

- The apparently simple task of moving 1s and 0s from a hard drive to a DAC is still a challenge in 2008 (interference, jitter, data loss, etc.). Part of this is due to the limitations of a generalist computer system being utilized in a specialized application

- The specialized knowledge, engineering, parts selection, testing and assembly of a dedicated audiophile CD player guarantees a streamlined and efficient integration of hardware and software.


I awkwardly stumbled into the whole mess that is USB audio and music servers not too long ago. I only wanted an ugly hack of a solution so that I could play songs while cooking, without having to constantly run to CD transport and keep switching discs. I was actually very happy with my Theta Digital Basic transport when I was *really* listening to music. And to make a long story brief...

I threw together a USB to S/PDIF converter feeding my trusty Adcom GDA-700 HDCD DAC from a old Dell running Linux. And one day, when I actually sat in the sweet spot, I realized that it sounded fabulous! And after doing some more research about the audiophile music server scene I realized that Linux lets you listen to the music without getting in the way. It lets you configure a small server with minimal services, and it lets you do that one thing  simply: play music.

I got rid of the Dell soon thereafter. It was noisy. It was power hungry. It had VGA, parallel ports, CD-ROM, and a host of other things not necessary for playing music. It was aslo a very ugly beige. I needed something like you said: "dedicated...  guarantees a streamlined and efficient integration of hardware and software." I also wanted something that afforded me freedom.

After living with my current custom Linux music server does not leave me wanting anything much when it comes to playing music:

A PC Engines ALIX single board computer in a small aluminum enclosure and running Voyage Linux. The music playing software, MPD, is based on the client/server model. The ALIX board runs the server daemon, and any other device in the house controls and displays a GUI.

The ALIX board is a completely silent and fanless single board computer that only consumes 4 watts of power. The CPU is an x86 compatible AMD Geode running at 500Mhz; no need to compile special software. 256mb of RAM allows me to buffer FLAC files %100 to RAM before playing. The device has 2 USB ports, one of which is used to feed a USB DAC. There is no VGA, mouse, keyboard, or onboard video.

Voyage Linux is a stripped down version of Debian Linux desinged to run on embedded or low power devices, such as the ALIX. It can run off of a compact flash card as small as 128MB and runs entirely in RAM. Most importantly, it keps Debian's APT package manager; installing software such as MPD and ALSA is only one apt-get command away. On the server it is configured with no audio software mixers, and MPD is given a direct hardware address of the USB DAC thus affording bit-perfect output.

The MPD server daemon allows the ALIX server to do one thing very well: play music. MPD fetches FLAC files via NFS from my bedroom computer, buffering one song at a time completeely to RAM. I can control the MPD server from multiple clients, which can all be connected at the same time. MMPC on a Nokia N800 tablet, and GMPC on the bedroom computer. There are a multitude of MD clients to chose from. from bluetooth phones to the iPod Touch.

I am *truly* enjoying music this way, especially since I recently picked up a Wavelength Audio Brick DAC. This is a killer combo, and I'm not going to look back to spinning transports any time soon. Anybody having any doubts about music servers should really investigate a properly configured, streamlined Linux device before reching any conclusions.

Cheers.

12-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 23
Post ID: 9118
Reply to: 9117
The Linux and a slightly misleading point of
fiogf49gjkf0d

Nycparamedic,

Thanks for your comment. It was interning as I am very far away from the Linux gaily and have absolutely no idea what kind gravitation forces are in play there. Even though I do understand that advantages to run dedicated operation system but it do not automatically implies that the result will be better. There are many reasons why if you wish we can go into it. Still, no one say that what you proposed might be no worth to investigate. Therefore here is my question: how a person, who has a very limited knowledge of what you are talking about and has absolutely not point of reference regarding the “Quality” of sound you refer to, can familiar itself with the playback you describe?  Is it possible to trial buy this Linux playback and to then return it if it is not contestable with what people currently use? Also, how comfortable it is in use? If it has no video interface, no graphic interface… I mean it possible with this Linux playback to know how large the file, where you are reader is currently is, how much left and to advanced the reading cursor to a specific point of the file?

The second part is slightly misleading. Even the Linux playback might be very good but I feel that is still does not address the debate of good CD Transport (that reads in real time) vs. disks played from music server.  You are taking about the properly implemented music server and even if we presume that Linux playback is the one that “properly implemented” then what read the CD in your Linux playback? Would it it be the very same CDROM as anywhere else? I have no down that contemporary music servers, would it be PC, MAC or Linux of whatever might play files with very high quality but the weakest link in the chain the stupid piece of hardware on which music is delivers – the CD disk. I do feel that some of “audiophile” dedicated CD transport/players read CD much better then computers CDROMs I know your arguments. You would say that in most of the “audiophile dedicated CD transport/players” used the same $20-worth CDROM as used in most of the computers. I would not argue but I would just report that in my experience the dedicated “audio” CD transport deliver better sound (for whatever reason). I would love to get rid of my CD transport and run my CD from my DAW but never was able to come even close to the sound I would like to have when I read the CD from the DAW’s CDROM or when I ripped the CD with EAC.

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
12-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 24
Post ID: 9125
Reply to: 9118
The digital audio future...
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Even though I do understand that advantages to run dedicated operation system but it do not automatically implies that the result will be better.


No, not automatically. But I believe using a minimalist open source operating system is a great start into the future that is server based music playing. The platform is open for experimentation to anybody, unlike closed software under Microsoft or Apple.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
There are many reasons why if you wish we can go into it. Still, no one say that what you proposed might be no worth to investigate.


That's exactly why I posted, to share some interesting information. And hopefully this will convince some (Linux friendly) folks to experiment and share their results.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Therefore here is my question: how a person, who has a very limited knowledge of what you are talking about and has absolutely not point of reference regarding the “Quality” of sound you refer to, can familiar itself with the playback you describe?  Is it possible to trial buy this Linux playback and to then return it if it is not contestable with what people currently use?


At this point, no. This is purely a do-it-yourself endeavor. There is more work & brains involved putting this together, but it keeps the price *very* low. And the platform is very open to experimentation, i.e., using low latency or even real-time kernels, etc.

 
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Also, how comfortable it is in use? If it has no video interface, no graphic interface… I mean it possible with this Linux playback to know how large the file, where you are reader is currently is, how much left and to advanced the reading cursor to a specific point of the file?


Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original post. The Alix computer runs headless, i.e., it's a server with no monitor. It runs the MPD server daemon which is responsible only for serving the music to the audio device, e.g., the USB DAC. The MPD *client* is the graphics programs responsible for displaying play lists, current songs, shuffling, album artwork, etc. It can run on any machine on the network (or even from across the internet) that the MPD server is on. Of course, if you want to have both MPD server and client running on the same machine you can do that as well. I use GMPC on the bedroom computer. Here are some screenshots. I also runn mmpc
on my Nokia N800 tablet; using this to control playback from the sweet spot. We use the MPC client on a seperate machine so that we can have a small and silent machine dedicated to doing only one thing: playing the music. This obviates the need for having PC's or laptops in the listening room.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
The second part is slightly misleading. Even the Linux playback might be very good but I feel that is still does not address the debate of good CD Transport (that reads in real time) vs. disks played from music server.

But there are only so many errors a spinning transport can handle --since it's reading the disc in real time-- before it just passes those errors of to the DAC. And CD's only get scratched more and more as you play them. And transport designer have to throw a tonne (read money) at transport mechanisms to reduce vibrations, etc.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
You are taking about the properly implemented music server and even if we presume that Linux playback is the one that “properly implemented” then what read the CD in your Linux playback? Would it it be the very same CDROM as anywhere else?

But the the CDROM does not have to read the disc in real time. It can do multiple passes, at a leisurely rate, and get the data it needs.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I have no down that contemporary music servers, would it be PC, MAC or Linux of whatever might play files with very high quality but the weakest link in the chain the stupid piece of hardware on which music is delivers – the CD disk.

I agree. Which is why I am excited about the future of music servers. Trent Reznor, lead singer and sole member of Nine Inch Nails released a free album as a digital download not too long ago. A month later he released it in CD format. The digital release is available in MP3, 16 bit WAV, 16bit FLAC, and 24bit 96khz WAV and FLAC. Link. The CD, in this case, is eliminated in the chain of playback. I hope that this is the future of audiophile music.Maybe we could also have double release of albums, i.e., one with compression for the iPod and boom box crowd, and one without compression for the audiophile community. Tom petter *did* just that recently with his latest album. The vinyl release comes with a CD version of the album that has no compression.

An interesting experiment would be to see of the CD sounds any different from the digital files on the same music server.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I do feel that some of “audiophile” dedicated CD transport/players read CD much better then computers CDROMs I know your arguments. You would say that in most of the “audiophile dedicated CD transport/players” used the same $20-worth CDROM as used in most of the computers. I would not argue but I would just report that in my experience the dedicated “audio” CD transport deliver better sound (for whatever reason). I would love to get rid of my CD transport and run my CD from my DAW but never was able to come even close to the sound I would like to have when I read the CD from the DAW’s CDROM or when I ripped the CD with EAC.

But you also might have overlooked some variables that frustrate many audiophile attempting this approach. Was Kmixer in Windows changing the sampling rate of your music? If you installed ASIO or that other plugin, was it working properly? If you were using OS X, was this the audio subsystem configured properly as well? Did you have the correct offsets set for your CD-ROM drive under EAC?

These are just some the issues that need to be streamlined to make things a little easier for the common audiophile. As for me, I will continue experimenting with Linux, but more importantly I will continue thoroughly enjoy music with this setup.

I'm currently waiting to get my Brick USB DAC from Wavelength audio after going back for the USB asynchronous mode upgrade. Let see if there's any real *noticeable* difference...

Cheers.

12-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 25
Post ID: 9130
Reply to: 9125
Lynix vs. Windows files playing.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 nycparamedic wrote:
But you also might have overlooked some variables that frustrate many audiophile attempting this approach. Was Kmixer in Windows changing the sampling rate of your music? If you installed ASIO or that other plugin, was it working properly? If you were using OS X, was this the audio subsystem configured properly as well? Did you have the correct offsets set for your CD-ROM drive under EAC?

I do not use Kmixer. Interning that you asked about ASIO. It does not work well with my software but on other head with Linx16 care I have no need or advantages of ASIO. I do not know about CD-ROM drive configuration under EAC – it is quite complex and requite to know what you do. Somewhere at my site I wrote that I brought 19 CD-ROM drives to my DAW, letting the EAC to pick the most desirable…

Anyhow, I do not argue that OS optimization might be a big plus and who know, it might be that your Lynix is a perceive direction to try. If I have the devise the you described than it would be easy to read the same file from your Lynix player and from my Win Players and to see if any deferens would be. I am sure it will be difference, all Win Players sound different, the question is if the different will be in the positive direction… If you found yourself in Boston (you are from NY, right?) with your like devise then try to find me, we can listen the thing together and perhaps to learn something together.

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
12-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 26
Post ID: 9131
Reply to: 8443
Timing is everything
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy wrote :

"...The USB is full duplex or bi-directional interface where stream flows in both ends. This enables designers to put a clock that might everything on the receiver side (DAC) and let this clock to manage the USB’s and even reader timing. USB sends data in burps by requests of by scheduled timing, this marks all might be managed by receiver side clock. In ASE/EDU the receiver shell recognize the timing marks and PLL or re-clock data. In USB there are no needs for PLL or re-clocking as the data arrives at the marks of the original clock. The USB in this case acts like an elephant that sticks a long trunk to another devise and sucks juice… according to my consultants this USB implementation is the most proper way to do the things..."

This is the point I was trying to make in the following post
http://www.goodsoundclub.com/GetPost.aspx?PostID=8293&Phrase=
where I quoted the manufacturer of a USB DAC reproducing the following information:

"...The USB interface is bidirectional, and has built-in error correction and buffering at both ends; it is an asynchronous interface. Clocking synch problems associated with SPDIF are not present with USB. The result is that the data on the disk is identical to what is leaving the DAC all the time...At start-up, the DAC tells the computer it can handle 16 bit audio at 32K, 44.1K and 48K. Since the USB receiver only has to handle these 3 frequencies, the clocking to the DAC has almost no jitter. SPDIF actually has to be synched to the exact frequency of the transport (i.e. if the transport is working at say 44.0896K instead of 44.1K the DAC has to sync to that frequency). Therefore the jitter problems of SPDIF are all but eliminated. The result is a zero error protocol to link between computer and DAC, with ultra low jitter... I wrote that there is no filtering : However, this unit uses a tube in it's output stage ("...Once converted, the analog signal is sent directly to a 6GM8/ECC86 dual triode output tube, which in turn drives a pair of output transformers..."); the tube probably has some sort of filter-like effect..."

Those considering a USB DAC may want to read my impressions in the above-linked post.

jd*


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
12-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 27
Post ID: 9132
Reply to: 9131
The Asynchronously gifted Wavelength Audio DAC's
fiogf49gjkf0d
Jessie,

I just managed to snag a used Wavelength Brick version 1 for a very good price. The Brick and Cosecant v2 use the same DAC section, unless you purchase a newer Cosecant v3 that is offered with an upgrade to a multi-bit 24/96 DAC chip.

I listened to my Brick for about a week with my custom Linux music server and I am *thoroughly* impressed with its very musical sound. I was *very* skeptical of the design of this DAC and its very high price. The DAC does use an older TDA1543 DAC chip. I was also somewhat baffled by Stereophile's Class A rating and the actual content of the  review. No measurements either...

I was also thinking of purchasing a Benchmark DAC1 USB for comparison. If you buy directly from Benchmark they offer a 30 day no questions asked and no restock fee guarantee.

12-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 28
Post ID: 9133
Reply to: 9131
The problem that I have with idea of USB DACing.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 jessie.dazzle wrote:

Those considering a USB DAC may want ....
Before I wrote the post that Jessie reefed I consulted with a few quite knowledgeable people in the digital field who explained to me all aspect of USB DACs. From what I understood it is clear that if (a big “if”) a USB DAC is properly implemented (that they admitthat  is not frequently happen) then USB DACs  have a lot of advantages over non-USB methods. However, what I feel is “strange” (among what I have seen) is that as soon people begin to use USB DACS then they forget about the guilty of DAC itself and begin just to stress the “quality” of USB method. A DAC is DAC. Take two DACs and see which one is better with the same let say S/PDIF interface. If the USB-able DAC turned out to be "better" with S/PDIF or EBU then, only THEN, engage the USB and observe the alleging USB's advantages and enjoy the ride.

People make DACs for 30 years very complex and very expensive, some of them a very good. The last few years there is an army of little USB that sold for very little money has a few chips and a few op-amps. Many people who make them have even no own recourses to write own USB drivers. I do not make assumption that those DACs are not good, they might be very good but I juts a bit skeptical then they are not as good as the USB topology might allow them to be.

So, for sake of preventing a self-delusion, in a competition USB DACing vs. dual-clock DACing I would like to hear the USB DAC driven by S/PDIF and get a feeling that is a good DAC itself. I do not see people talk a lot about it… That is what I see a “problem” with idea of USB DACing.

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
12-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 29
Post ID: 9134
Reply to: 9132
The TDA1543 and the NOS sound
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hello,

I have owned a TDA1543 based Kusonoki style (passive I/V, digital filterless, non oversampling) DAC for almost two years.
You can have a look at the measurements here.

I find that this kind of implementation (Kusonoki) has a very distinct signature that is not very compatible with the reproduction of symphonic music: it's dynamically challenged, coloured, veiled and lacking at the frequency extremes.
One could almost call it the digital version of single driver speakers.

The TDA1543 was chosen for it's ability to bypass the active output stage but the TDA1541 is technically a far superior chip.
I have never heard Audio Note's or any other non-TDA1543 based NOS DACs but it would be interesting to know whether these qualities are due to the use of a economy version chip, passive I/V, non-oversampling or the lot.

Cheers,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
12-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 30
Post ID: 9139
Reply to: 9134
Of TDA DAC chips and such
fiogf49gjkf0d
 tuga wrote:
Hello,
I have owned a TDA1543 based Kusonoki style (passive I/V, digital filterless, non oversampling) DAC for almost two years.
You can have a look at the measurements here.

I find that this kind of implementation (Kusonoki) has a very distinct signature that is not very compatible with the reproduction of symphonic music: it's dynamically challenged, coloured, veiled and lacking at the frequency extremes.
One could almost call it the digital version of single driver speakers.


Thanks for the info. I have to admit that I have not listened to any high-dynamic symphonic music with the Wavelength Brick DAC yet. I'll sure give it a go when it comes back from surgery.

Their website does mention this: "These DACs incorporate the TDA1543N2 (select top 5%) DAC chips with passive I/V using Shinko Tantulum resistors..." What exactly does "select top 5%" means I have no idea. Are there crown version  of this chip like the TDA1541? I didn't see one when I opened up the DAC.

The TDA1543 is known to have a rolled off response at the high frequenices. I knew of this before getting the DAC used; another reason I was skeptical of this DAC. I listened carefully between my Adcom GDA-700 and the Brick, and thought the Brick souded much better. Not dull or rolled of.

Cheers
12-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 31
Post ID: 9141
Reply to: 9139
Méfiez-vous...
fiogf49gjkf0d
...of manufacturers claims. They have to make a living out of selling their gear.
From what I gather, the "select top 5%" are just that: no physical diferences, just tighter quality control.

About your comparison, it would help to know what speakers you are using and the material you played.
The ADCOM uses the PCM1702 20bit chip which is technically superior but I had a Denon with the same chip that sounded like crap (in part due to a "tiny" transformer).

Cheers,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
12-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 32
Post ID: 9143
Reply to: 9141
Newer NOS DAC chips???
fiogf49gjkf0d
 tuga wrote:
...of manufacturers claims. They have to make a living out of selling their gear.
From what I gather, the "select top 5%" are just that: no physical diferences, just tighter quality control.

That's what I suspected.
 tuga wrote:
About your comparison, it would help to know what speakers you are using and the material you played.
The ADCOM uses the PCM1702 20bit chip which is technically superior but I had a Denon with the same chip that sounded like crap (in part due to a "tiny" transformer).
Speakers are a pair of original B&W Matrix 804. The room, 17x13, is dedicated to listening and has numerous Real Traps installed. Music was various, Beethoven String Quartets by Juliard at the Library of Congress; White Stripes; Jolie Holland; Belle & Sebastian; Camera Obscura; Okerville River. Stuff that I listen to fairly often.

Is there anyone making a newer Non-Oversampling DAC chip that is better than the older Phillips TDA chips? I am also curious to read John Atkison's review of the Wavelength Audio Cosecant v3 USB DAC. He asked for a reiew smaple after hearing the DAC -with the 24/96 DAC module- at RAF 2008.
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
alexd
Posts 7
Joined on 12-19-2008

Post #: 33
Post ID: 9197
Reply to: 8265
High Quality Music Server / CD player
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi all.
We are small company, dedicated to creation of highest quality audio products. Analog and Digital. We have auditioned many music servers on the market.
However most of them do not sound as good as good quality 16Bits cd transport. The approach of connecting MAC or PC to high quality External DAC is
not an audiophile solution. The switching noise from MAC or PC power supply will find its way into your digital signal, which will cause jitter, noise, reduced soundstage, and harshness on your analog output.
The best approach is to use a completely dedicated music server. Designed for Audiophile applications to start with.
We have designed and built high quality external DAC (now selling direct from our web site), which deals with jitter. Our DAC improved computer generated output (SPDIF or USB-AUDIO) significantly, still the sound is better from High quality CD-Transport .
Alexd
3 Dimension Audio
www.3d-audio.com
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 34
Post ID: 9198
Reply to: 9197
Noise? Go optical...
fiogf49gjkf0d
 alexd wrote:
Hi all.
We are small company, dedicated to creation of highest quality audio products. Analog and Digital. We have auditioned many music servers on the market.
However most of them do not sound as good as good quality 16Bits cd transport. The approach of connecting MAC or PC to high quality External DAC is
not an audiophile solution. The switching noise from MAC or PC power supply will find its way into your digital signal, which will cause jitter, noise, reduced soundstage, and harshness on your analog output.
The best approach is to use a completely dedicated music server. Designed for Audiophile applications to start with.
We have designed and built high quality external DAC (now selling direct from our web site), which deals with jitter. Our DAC improved computer generated output (SPDIF or USB-AUDIO) significantly, still the sound is better from High quality CD-Transport .
Alexd
3 Dimension Audio
www.3d-audio.com
Hello Alexd, You can use an optical interface to filter the switching noise. By the way, you identify the existence of such noise but the specs of DAC18 don't mention how you get rid of it. Regards, Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 35
Post ID: 9199
Reply to: 9197
Of the vaguest specifications but, of course, the best intentions...
fiogf49gjkf0d
 alexd wrote:
Hi all.
We are small company, dedicated to creation of highest quality audio products. Analog and Digital. We have auditioned many music servers on the market.


Wait! Let me guess. You're gonna tell me the way it *should* be done, right???

 alexd wrote:
However most of them do not sound as good as good quality 16Bits cd transport. The approach of connecting MAC or PC to high quality External DAC is
not an audiophile solution.


Of course! Because you have tried at least a couple of hundred of combinations of different music servers, pre-amps, speaker cables (not mention expensive inter-connects), and speakers?? Right? No to mention you did all of this blind testing in a properly treated listening room? One where the midrange and bass peaks and nulls were properly smoothed out? Yes?

 alexd wrote:
The switching noise from MAC or PC power supply will find its way into your digital signal, which will cause jitter, noise, reduced soundstage, and harshness on your analog output.
The best approach is to use a completely dedicated music server. Designed for Audiophile applications to start with.


And I can't be running my custom server ( a single board computer which draws only 5 watts max) from a large capacity sealed battery?? And this SBC (single board computer) would not be considered a dedicated music server? Running a stripped down Linux distribution that s running entirely in RAM? No to mention that every FLAC file is buffered *enitrely* to RAM before it get sent to USB... And I have complete control of my music server secondary to its open source software??

 alexd wrote:
We have designed and built high quality external DAC (now selling direct from our web site), which deals with jitter. Our DAC improved computer generated output (SPDIF or USB-AUDIO) significantly, still the sound is better from High quality CD-Transport .


Yup! I'm sure you did! And your specifications could not be more generic than a Top 40 pop song! No mention of what brand DAC chip you are using or its implementation!! Or did you buy a fab and tap out your own custom circuit, thus negating the need to use any OFS (off the shelf) DAC chip available from Philips, Analog Devices, Sabre, etc., etc.

Not to mention that the grammar structure in the abovequoted paragraph... (You company is listed as being resident in Carson City, Nevada)

This quote from your website:

"The DAC18 utilizes a unique architecture which essentially eliminates jitter."

Essentially!!!!! No how's, what's, where's, or any of those pesky details!!! You just *essentially* got rid of it!!

Your solution is *unsrupassed*!!! Just take my credit card and charge what you think is a fair price! Trust me, I won't worry in times that mimic a 1930's style economy.

 alexd wrote:
Alexd
3 Dimension Audio
www.3d-audio.com
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 36
Post ID: 9200
Reply to: 9197
The problems in the DAW's switching PS?
fiogf49gjkf0d

 alexd wrote:
We are small company, dedicated to creation of highest quality audio products. Analog and Digital. We have auditioned many music servers on the market.
However most of them do not sound as good as good quality 16Bits cd transport. The approach of connecting MAC or PC to high quality External DAC is
not an audiophile solution. The switching noise from MAC or PC power supply will find its way into your digital signal, which will cause jitter, noise, reduced soundstage, and harshness on your analog output.
The best approach is to use a completely dedicated music server. Designed for Audiophile applications to start with.
We have designed and built high quality external DAC (now selling direct from our web site), which deals with jitter. Our DAC improved computer generated output (SPDIF or USB-AUDIO) significantly, still the sound is better from High quality CD-Transport .

Alex, I would like to point a contradiction in what you say. Your “high quality external DAC” is not usable with “many music servers” as it look like your DAC is 16/44. I can’t imagine anybody build a music server to play juts 16Bit files. Particularly considering that you agree that “sound is better from High quality CD-Transport”.

The point about switching noise from MAC or PC power supply is well taken and well know. It very much makes sense to build a conventional PS, non-impulse PS fro music servers, though I did not credible comments that it does make any sonic improvement. Intellectually the switching suppers are bad, I would agree with it, even thought I have no idea how switching supply might cause jitter. Noise, yes. The residual switching pulses, yes? But jitter? I do not think so, explain if I am wrong.

Also, I would like to hear your opinion what methodologically appropriate was you might suggest to identify that my current music server does suffers from switching PS problems?  I hear very same sound with no identifiable difference between direct feed of my preamp driven from tuner vs. the preamp driven via AD-DAW-DA path. If so, then how shell I learn about the tangible switching PS problems? BTW, sine I use “external”  PS for my DAW I might ease to try it…

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
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
alexd
Posts 7
Joined on 12-19-2008

Post #: 37
Post ID: 9201
Reply to: 9199
High Quality Music Server / CD player
fiogf49gjkf0d
Why are you so aggressive?
Te specs on web site are most generic on purpose.
We do not want the competition to copy our design before we applied for patents and protected our IP.
If you'd like to know more details, call us and we will try to explain to you what we are doing, not how.
Our company is in Carson City, Nevada. and by the way we are using Analog Devices dac IC in 16 bits version (DAC18), we will be using
Texas Instruments in our 24 bits version (coming soon). The DAC18 got its name, because it took 18 month to create this product. It is not intended for music server application,
but for highest quality Red Book  CD reproduction. For people, who want to use for a music server, we do have a USB input option.


As far as Music Server goes, the single board computer with linear power supply or battery supply is correct approach, I was talking about MAC or PC.
 
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nycparamedic
Posts 7
Joined on 12-09-2008

Post #: 38
Post ID: 9202
Reply to: 9201
The tongue was firmly planted in cheek.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 alexd wrote:
Why are you so aggressive?
Te specs on web site are most generic on purpose.
We do not want the competition to copy our design before we applied for patents and protected our IP.
If you'd like to know more details, call us and we will try to explain to you what we are doing, not how.
Our company is in Carson City, Nevada. and by the way we are using Analog Devices dac IC in 16 bits version (DAC18), we will be using
Texas Instruments in our 24 bits version (coming soon). The DAC18 got its name, because it took 18 month to create this product. It is not intended for music server application,
but for highest quality Red Book  CD reproduction. For people, who want to use for a music server, we do have a USB input option.


As far as Music Server goes, the single board computer with linear power supply or battery supply is correct approach, I was talking about MAC or PC.
 


Considering the nature of online forums and the internet in general, I was *not* being "so aggressive" I was merely being sarcastic considering the nature of your post. I did not use one profane word, insult, or phrase in the extreme pejorative. I have been very kind and restrained in my reply considering some of the posts I have seen directed at manufacturer's who shill their products on other forums.

A few of us were having a discussion about computer music servers; myself describing my own custom DIY Linux that anybody could put together; sans "IP". I wasn't selling anything, but you are. Your first post to this forum was about you plugging your product!!! My response was a subtle, if not humorous hint, about why you shouldn't. I was not trying to insult or berate. I was just hoping you get "the hint".

And if you are truly worried about someone stealing your "Intellectual Property" then maybe you should have not boasted about your product until every single T was crossed and every single I was dotted. And I'm not even going to go into why I think the term IP is a complete sham:  http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html
But to each his own.

I hope your line does well.
12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
alexd
Posts 7
Joined on 12-19-2008

Post #: 39
Post ID: 9203
Reply to: 9200
The problems in the DAW's switching PS?
fiogf49gjkf0d
You are right, the DAC18 is 16 bits device, we could not find many sources of 24 Bits material being output in digital form via SPDIF or USB.
Due to the Digital Copyright Law, no devices can output (in digital form) anything higher than 16 Bits / 48 Khz signal.
So most of the equipment makers (cd transports, sound cards, etc....) either convert the signal to 16 bits /44.1Khz/48Khz or mute the output completely.
To answer your second question the noise is the major factor contributing to jitter.
I can get very technical about it with simulation plots, calculations, etc... But I am not sure I'd like to do it on the forum. It could be very boring for non engineers.
To answer your question about DAW output  vs tuner. Well Tuner is not highest quality source to start with. I do not think you will hear much difference between DAW analog output and tuner analog output.

12-18-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 40
Post ID: 9204
Reply to: 9203
Yes and no. Still, it does not answer the question and PS.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 alexd wrote:
To answer your question about DAW output vs tuner. Well Tuner is not highest quality source to start with. I do not think you will hear much difference between DAW analog output and tuner analog output.

It is unquestionable that an FM tuner technically speaking is not a highest quality source to start with but my demands for DAW is very practical and utilitarian – I record FM and my objectives for music server to be able handle FM, nothing more or less. I do not upload up CD, tapes or LP to music server. Still with all my familiarity with FM limitations I might assure you that good FM incredibly complex source for DAW recording and reproduction. A good FM station, a good tuner and a good quality LIVE Broadcast is so sophisticated material that any if not the best A/D, DAW, D/A will round it, even at the limited technically quality of FM. You see, LIVE is live and it has (in some cases) such a complexity of imaging and space that bad digital kills. I have a few cheap USB-based A/D and D/A in here that I was conceding to use for second recording system – they just do not handle FM quality, whatever the quality FM is. So, I would be cautious with your discard of FM quality. I believe that I do have an access to the very good alternative to FM sources (CD, LP, Tape) and frankly speaking I do not feel that FM is some kind of “black ship” among audio sources.

In a contrary to what you said when I try to observe a difference between DAW analog outputs (I used externals DAC) and tuner analog output, in case if I screw up something with my DAW, then I do hear a very clear difference. Over the time I have developed my own methodological ways to tell is the A/D-DAW-D/A chains performs well and equal to what my FM stream does. Change 1dB of gain on DAW – and the A/D-DAW-D/A chain immediately underperforms... There are some other check points… That is why I asked you if you have any check points for subjective testing the noise from impulse PS.

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
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