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Software makes hardware better poll?


dallasjustice

Can software make hardware substantially better?  

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I recently acquired a Lynx Hilo USB. I've owned some outrageously expensive DACs which are universally accepted by the audiophile community as some of the "best." About a year ago I fell hard for DSP. Since then, I've discovered how much more powerful DSP can be than any hardware upgrade I've ever made short of new speakers or new listening room. I already have a very accurate listening room but I wanted to integrate a pair of mono subs on the front and back walls to help eliminate some front/back room modes and a backwall null.

 

I recently swithed DSP over to Acourate. From the first time I listened to an Acourate filter, I quickly understood that DAC hardware is becoming a commodity. The real future of highend music reproduction IS the software. There's no question about it. After having some of the finest DACs in my room, nothing compares to the Lynx Hilo and Acourate software combo. I am using Acourate for sub crossover, delay and full frequency correction. I am NOT exaggerating when I say that the Acourate FIR filters coupled with the Lynx Hilo's awesome AtoD, DtoA and flexible routing capabilities make this software/hardware combo light years better than a $30,000+ super DAC I've owned.

 

It's time to rethink the hardware equation. Hardware will never again be balkanized from the rest of the system. It's a music reproduction system not the least of which is the speaker/room interaction.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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It's true that software is massively important, to a degree that is only now becoming appreciated. Plus, it's true that there are many more high-performing DAC's out there at all prices levels, making it more difficult to "find" one that is seriously bad. But there are still significant performance differences in DACs - to the degree that I can't agree with saying that they're a commodity.

 

But your point (I believe) that well executed DSP will make a huge difference with whatever hardware you prefer - I agree with that completely.

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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It's a matter of degree. At least from my perspective, I've always thought of software as the commodity and the hardware as THE focus for big system improvements. It's the other way around now. Of course, there are differences in DACs but those differences are minimal in comparison especially when coupled with or not coupled with good DSP.

 

It's true that software is massively important, to a degree that is only now becoming appreciated. Plus, it's true that there are many more high-performing DAC's out there at all prices levels, making it more difficult to "find" one that is seriously bad. But there are still significant performance differences in DACs - to the degree that I can't agree with saying that they're a commodity.

 

But your point (I believe) that well executed DSP will make a huge difference with whatever hardware you prefer - I agree with that completely.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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You used Dirac until recently if my memory serves me right. What made you switch over to Acourate?

 

Acourate is much more advanced. I get much better sounding filters. I started out with Acourate simply using full range correction. I liked the filter much more than DIRAC. I was using an external DSP crossover for the subs. I waded into the deep end after a bit with Uli's help we set up crossovers for sub integration using the Hilo. I am getting an even better sub integration.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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If I ever change to another dac, the DSP and four channel output will be a requirement. I do not know how Acourate compares to Room Perfect, but this is more important to me than a 30K dac.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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If I ever change to another dac, the DSP and four channel output will be a requirement. I do not know how Acourate compares to Room Perfect, but this is more important to me than a 30K dac.

 

I agree about at least 4CH is now mandatory. But also an analog input is a MUST. The audiophile DAC manufacturers haven't caught up yet though. I don't mind pro gear though; high value and high reliability. What's wrong with that? :-)

 

Michael.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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