Jump to content
IGNORED

Saving older DACs


mgod

Recommended Posts

Hello.

 

I found this forum looking for some information. I'm going to directly pose a question to those more experienced with computer audio than I am, and hope that it will not get mired in garbage like the one topic I participated in yesterday. By now there are probably a few people who know that their opinions aren't worth my time. And where's the block button? I apologize in advance for my crankiness about that.

 

My question is this:

 

I have a Theta Digital Gen Va DAC. What it does it does very well. Having to replace it completely troubles me greatly. I'm very bothered by the fact that so much of what we do results in yesterday's spectacular technology ending up poisoning someone's water table. ( I still use a 1989 Proton CRT TV).

 

But these days I use the Theta only for DVD and LDs. For sitting down and really listening I use a Memory Player, which is kind of like putting on vinyl and just as good. But I'd like to be able to use the Theta as a general DAC, maybe with a Sonos or streaming from a Mac Mini or the like. I wonder what other folks have done to keep their last-century DACs in regular use. What has worked for you, what has sounded better than something else, that sort of thing.

 

Thanks.

 

Nothing is real.

Link to comment

In one of my systems I am using a Squeezebox Touch to play digital music, feeding the toslink output to a Cambridge Audio DACmagic. Another alternative is of course to use a soundcard with a S/PDIF or other digital output to feed your DAC from the computer. The third choice is a USB-to-S/PDIF converter such as a V-Link.

 

Link to comment

There are plenty of solid state media players with SPDIF out now.

 

There is the cool looking Micca EP350 G2 1080p which will play just about anything for around $99. Also the QA350 wav player for $220. Finally the Shanling M3.1 Network Music Player around $830.

 

There's lots of new stuff all the time. Plus you can also build or buy a media computer with SPDIF and TOSLink for very little money...

 

Link to comment

A good aysnch USB/SPDIF converter will deliver a very good quality signal to your Theta. So good it may never have sounded as good as it will this way. At the very least it will receive a signal comparable to some of the better transports you could feed it.

 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment

I still have my first Audio Alchemy DACMAN and the associated jitter box between my basic Blue Ray player and receiver...because the thing still sounds better than the DAC in the new Blue Ray device...

 

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you any understanding – Samuel Johnson

Link to comment

AFAIK gen 5a only does 20/96 (weird, I know), and only if it was fitted with a certain upgrade.

 

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

Some time ago the designer of Ayre Equipment, Charles Hansen, made the comment that 60% of the quality of the DAC was contributed by the output stage.

 

i.e nothing to do with the lastest flavour of DAC Chip or high res.

 

If you like the Theta, and they built better kit that most, don't get seduced into the modern is good argument, because it usually isn't.

 

You probably need a decent USB to SPDIF converter and you're off, as for the high res arms race, it is another falseness.

 

Most people's equipment is no where near good enough to benefit for the advantages of High Res, cheaper dacs with High Res are purely the invention of marketing departments.

 

 

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

Link to comment

Other than the addition of a Memory Player 3 or 4 years ago, my system hasn't changed since getting the Theta in the late 90s. (Other than the very important addition of a PS Audio Power Plant Premier a few years ago which transformed the sound of the Theta.)

 

So I'm never seduced by "modern is good". The Memory Player is the best thing I've ever heard (and I've heard a whole helluva lot). But its a standalone digital player, it doesn't take additional inputs from anywhere else. Its like a turntable that way, whereas the Theta is a more flexible DAC.

 

The Theta does do one thing better than the Memory Player - the dynamic oomph of the bottom few octaves (which it does better than anything). I'm not at all convinced that its more real down there, but its big fun. I've started talking to the MP's designer about increasing the power supply strength of the MP's computer to hear what happens. Some of my friends who build professional recording computers do a lot of work with power supply improvements, which of course is ultimately what the Power Plant is as well.

 

I'll have to ask Neil or Dave Kerstetter about the 20-bit question.

 

Nothing is real.

Link to comment

PCM63 DACs used in Gen 5 are 20-bit. That doesn't mean you cannot make an input receiver and digital filter that would accept 24-bit data anyway ... however, from what I remember, Theta always advertised gen 5 DACs as 20/94.

 

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Link to comment

If you cannot easily hear the difference between Hi-Rez and CD versions of the same file, You are in need of medical treatment. Heck, I am 60 and can still hear the difference between a 24/96 file played back on my Android at 24/96 and the same song limited to 16/44.1 on my iPOD. I have never heard 24/192 but I suspect it is even more amazing.

 

I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you any understanding – Samuel Johnson

Link to comment

You say it goes to max 96K.

 

If you want to experiment without spending too much, try a Musical Fidelity V-Link USB to S/PDIF converter.

 

There are three models, easily confused, take care you get the best value one. Halide do something similar, called the Bridge, but it is a touch more expensive.

 

V-Link 192. Most expensive version and not needed

V-Link II. 96K, silver case

V-Link. Also 96K black case

 

It is suspected that the only difference between the V-Link and the V-Link II is the case. It was reported here that the V-Link (the black one) was available on Amazon at a very low price. I think it was 'Downrange' who found it.

 

Not sure if the '20 bit' will muddy the waters, others may know.

 

 

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...