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DSD only using DSC 1,2 or 3?


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There's quite wide range of DACs... But if you'd like a discrete implementation then Playback Designs Merlot probably, or T+A DAC8 DSD.

the previous incarnation of T+A DAC8 was not exciting at all. But there seems to be a lot of revisions in this last version, I must listen again.

 

Chip based something like TEAC UD-501, iFi iDSD Micro on the less expensive side and something like exaSound in the middle.

 

I believe the operating principle of those is different...

it's also a discrete/"chipless" implementation found on lampizator, according to documentation.

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it's also a discrete/"chipless" implementation found on lampizator, according to documentation.

 

I know, but I believe it is closer to the "No DAC" approach than it is to mine... That's why I didn't put it in the same bundle. What I've understood is that the T+A is somewhere in the middle, but not sure how the latest version is done and there's not much information about it.

 

Did you listen the T+A with HQPlayer upsampling or with something else?

 

I have not heard DAC8 DSD nor the Merlot. I'd really like to hear those with HQPlayer though... But especially Merlot is a bit expensive side...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I know, but I believe it is closer to the "No DAC" approach than it is to mine... That's why I didn't put it in the same bundle. What I've understood is that the T+A is somewhere in the middle, but not sure how the latest version is done and there's not much information about it.

 

Did you listen the T+A with HQPlayer upsampling or with something else?

 

I have not heard DAC8 DSD nor the Merlot. I'd really like to hear those with HQPlayer though... But especially Merlot is a bit expensive side...

 

The T+A DAC 8 DSD sounds superb converting DSD 512 material delivered by HQPlayer. The SQ jump from DSD 256 to DSD 512 was quite a surprise.

 

I have not heard the T+A PDP-3000, but for me the T+A DAC 8 DSD sets new standards for Soundstage, image precision, timbre, clarity, and resolution

 

Definitely worth an audition with the best audiophile PC you can lay your hands on. Converting PCM to DSD512 is very CPU hungry :-)

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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I know, but I believe it is closer to the "No DAC" approach than it is to mine... That's why I didn't put it in the same bundle. What I've understood is that the T+A is somewhere in the middle, but not sure how the latest version is done and there's not much information about it.

 

The "No DAC" is sketchy on the analog filter, but presumably because Lampizator nor "No DAC" use the DSC1 shift register FIR filter they are similar in that respect. Lampizator might implement a proper filter using tubes. No idea how they do I-V.

 

The "No DAC" approach to creating a balanced signal via d-flipflop is very reasonable. I have wondered what connecting my FirstWatt M2 to the I-V output would do. It has a clever transformer in the amplification stage which presumably might filter out the Mhz range DSD trash but who knows :) I'm not too interested in "No DAC" itself, rather considering this for another DSC flavor.

 

Clearly though whether the shift register filter is used or not, there are various differences in the subsequent analog stages. An option I favor with the DSC approach is to use an entirely discrete jFet approach for both I-V as well as the SK filters. This is the approach Pass took in their older DAC, and which has been updated. Pass/First Watt sell the B4 discrete active crossover, for example, all based on the SK170/SJ74 input stage/buffer circuit which is well known and popular. Nelson Pass isn't particularly interested in doing this himself (not a "digital" guy at all:) but I've conversed with him and he thinks this is a reasonable approach on the filter side.

 

I've been delayed getting this project built and tested because I've been pulled in various directions.

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I know, but I believe it is closer to the "No DAC" approach than it is to mine... That's why I didn't put it in the same bundle. What I've understood is that the T+A is somewhere in the middle, but not sure how the latest version is done and there's not much information about it.

 

Did you listen the T+A with HQPlayer upsampling or with something else?

 

I have not heard DAC8 DSD nor the Merlot. I'd really like to hear those with HQPlayer though... But especially Merlot is a bit expensive side...

The old dac8 I listened using a cd transport, so only red book. It did not stand out...comparing to a chord cute...

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The old dac8 I listened using a cd transport, so only red book. It did not stand out...comparing to a chord cute...

 

AFAIK, the DAC8 DSD has two separate DACs inside. A normal DAC chip solution for PCM and a discrete pure DSD DAC for DSD (up to DSD512).

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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The T+A DAC 8 DSD sounds superb converting DSD 512 material delivered by HQPlayer. The SQ jump from DSD 256 to DSD 512 was quite a surprise.

 

I have not heard the T+A PDP-3000, but for me the T+A DAC 8 DSD sets new standards for Soundstage, image precision, timbre, clarity, and resolution

 

Definitely worth an audition with the best audiophile PC you can lay your hands on. Converting PCM to DSD512 is very CPU hungry :-)

 

Great feedback coming from you, so are you in a position to compare with, say, the lampizator or the zodiac?

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Great feedback coming from you, so are you in a position to compare with, say, the lampizator or the zodiac?

 

As far as last years crop of good DAC's Lampi B7 at DSD 128, Antelope Zodiac Platinum internal upsample to DSD 256, Accuphase DC-37 DSD128, ExaSound E22 at DSD256 with Sigma 11 PS, which I and my colleagues have had in house and lived with, the T+A DAC 8 DSD is in another ball park

 

The Chord Dave is very good at internal upsampling of PCM to PCM, but at DSD 512, so far (we are still burning in as we only got the DAVE on Monday) the SQ prize goes to the T+A

 

What I have not been able to test with reasonable confidence is Lampi Golden Gate. I have not heard Nagra HD, Merging NADAC or the Mytek Brooklyn. From my encounters with DCS Rossini, MSB Analog and TOTAL DAC, I don't think they can compete with the T+A DAC 8 DSD doing PCM to DSD 512 and DSD 64 to DSD 512 using HQP running on a tricked out PC

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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As far as last years crop of good DAC's Lampi B7 at DSD 128, Antelope Zodiac Platinum internal upsample to DSD 256, Accuphase DC-37 DSD128, ExaSound E22 at DSD256 with Sigma 11 PS, which I and my colleagues have had in house and lived with, the T+A DAC 8 DSD is in another ball park

 

The Chord Dave is very good at internal upsampling of PCM to PCM, but at DSD 512, so far (we are still burning in as we only got the DAVE on Monday) the SQ prize goes to the T+A

 

What I have not been able to test with reasonable confidence is Lampi Golden Gate. I have not heard Nagra HD, Merging NADAC or the Mytek Brooklyn. From my encounters with DCS Rossini, MSB Analog and TOTAL DAC, I don't think they can compete with the T+A DAC 8 DSD doing PCM to DSD 512 and DSD 64 to DSD 512 using HQP running on a tricked out PC

 

So, considering the prices, we have an overachiever...

Btw, have you experienced the DSD only lampizators?

Thanks...

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So, considering the prices, we have an overachiever...

Btw, have you experienced the DSD only lampizators?

Thanks...

 

Yes, the price performance of the T+A DAC 8 DSD is jaw dropping

 

No experience with the DSD only Lampi's

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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AFAIK, the DAC8 DSD has two separate DACs inside. A normal DAC chip solution for PCM and a discrete pure DSD DAC for DSD (up to DSD512).

 

Yes, they say they have developed their own 1-bit DAC and according to the available photos there are 4 of them inside the DAC8 DSD. It seems they follow a purist approach for their DSD processing inside the DAC. From the user guide:

 

" In the past it has been standard practice to apply digital and analogue filtering processes in an attempt to reduce DSD noise, but such solutions are never entirely without side effects on sound quality. For the DAC 8 DSD we have developed two special techniques designed to eliminate the sonic disadvantages:

1. The True-DSD technique, consisting of a direct digital signal path without filtering and noise-shaping, plus our True 1-bit DSD

D/A converter

2. Analogue reconstruction filter with adjustable bandwidth "

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I know, but I believe it is closer to the "No DAC" approach than it is to mine... That's why I didn't put it in the same bundle.

 

...

 

I never found it clear how Lampizator does DSD conversion. Their website says "THE LAMPIZATOR DSD DAC HAS USB PORT BUILT IN, SOLID STATE DIGITAL FILTER, PASSIVE DISCRETE ANALOG FILTER AND ACTIVE DISCRETE TUBE FILTER. "

 

Now, the only digital filter I have seen implemented for DSD in my limited knowledge is a "moving average" digital filter with different implementations. I understand it is built in the Burr Brown DAC chip which ifi uses, and is also implemented in Accuphase DACs via a combination of DSP and the multichannels of the ESS DAC chips. (Is this also the filter implemented in the DSC 1 with discrete components?). So for Lampizator I am not sure whether some DAC chip is involved or not in their DSD DACs. It is also not likely a no-dac approach (which I understand as being just simple low pass filtering). All of this is of course of little importance and more a matter of curiosity as apparently their analog implementation is superb and their DACs sounds great.

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Is this also the filter implemented in the DSC 1 with discrete components?

 

DSC1 is 32-element moving average analog filter (thus can output 33 different analog levels) plus 4th order transient optimized Sallen-Key active analog low-pass filter. So every bit that comes in, goes as-is bit-perfect to the D-to-A conversion stage.

 

So for Lampizator I am not sure whether some DAC chip is involved or not in their DSD DACs. It is also not likely a no-dac approach (which I understand as being just simple low pass filtering). All of this is of course of little importance and more a matter of curiosity as apparently their analog implementation is superb and their DACs sounds great.

 

Since I don't have any more information than what is available on their site, plus pictures of innards of the DAC, I don't know much details. So basis for my comment is just based on what I've seen as pictures of the boards. I have not noticed any discrete conversion arrays in the pictures.

 

I'm happy to know more if any information is available anywhere! :)

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Yes, the price performance of the T+A DAC 8 DSD is jaw dropping

 

No experience with the DSD only Lampi's

 

Well, placed my order.

 

Your experience and comments pushed me over the edge.

 

Figured, it will take me a great deal of time and energy to build a DIY DAC (Balanced DSC or BIIISE) with the same feature set as this DAC.

 

Now, I just need to decide on the PC control build for HQPlayer using the i7-6700K and a Geforce GTX 980.

Software: HQPlayer | JRiver | Fidelizer Pro

Music Server: i7 6700K (Windows 10) | Cables: Blue Jean BNC, Cabledyne USB + Uptone Regen | DAC: T+A DAC8 DSD, Marantz SA 14S-1 | Amp: DIY M3 Balanced or DIY Tube Amp (2A3-300B) | Headphone: Shure SRH-1840, Audeze LCD-X, AKG K-501, Sennheiser HD800

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Well, placed my order.

 

Your experience and comments pushed me over the edge.

 

Figured, it will take me a great deal of time and energy to build a DIY DAC (Balanced DSC or BIIISE) with the same feature set as this DAC.

 

Now, I just need to decide on the PC control build for HQPlayer using the i7-6700K and a Geforce GTX 980.

 

Despite the T+A DAC 8 DSD having a very good implementation of galvanic isolation, the quality of the PC build makes a huge difference. Last night I did a A/B test of the Sound Galleries Music Server against a stock mobo with SMPS, both of which have a i7 6700K, and the difference was big.

 

But look at it this way, everything you do to make your PC build better, will give you a sonic reward :-)

 

What are your plans for powering and cooling the Geforce 980 ? Powering and cooling the i7 6700K has been pretty challenging and is the reason for the delayed rollout of the SGM as we have had to upgrade the cooling system and chassis layout to meet the CPU load of doing PCM to DSD 512 with Polysinc family filters (not -2S)

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Yes, they say they have developed their own 1-bit DAC and according to the available photos there are 4 of them inside the DAC8 DSD. It seems they follow a purist approach for their DSD processing inside the DAC. From the user guide:

 

" In the past it has been standard practice to apply digital and analogue filtering processes in an attempt to reduce DSD noise, but such solutions are never entirely without side effects on sound quality. For the DAC 8 DSD we have developed two special techniques designed to eliminate the sonic disadvantages:

1. The True-DSD technique, consisting of a direct digital signal path without filtering and noise-shaping, plus our True 1-bit DSD

D/A converter

2. Analogue reconstruction filter with adjustable bandwidth "

 

Looking at the parts layout, there are 4 PCM DAC chips, but it looks two groups of components for the 1-bit DSD converter

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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What are your plans for powering and cooling the Geforce 980 ? Powering and cooling the i7 6700K has been pretty challenging and is the reason for the delayed rollout of the SGM as we have had to upgrade the cooling system and chassis layout to meet the CPU load of doing PCM to DSD 512 with Polysinc family filters (not -2S)

 

Since June of last year, I have been thinking about and trying to figure out the parts for a music server/pc control build. And as you stated, how do I power it, cool it and keep it quiet while keeping the signal clean?

 

Last night I changed my mind again. Since I need to build a powerful machine for graphics, 3D, photo/video editing to replace a 10 year-old workstation, I am now thinking of building such a machine and make it dual use. Keep it my home office, and connect the Sonore microRendu to the DAC.

Software: HQPlayer | JRiver | Fidelizer Pro

Music Server: i7 6700K (Windows 10) | Cables: Blue Jean BNC, Cabledyne USB + Uptone Regen | DAC: T+A DAC8 DSD, Marantz SA 14S-1 | Amp: DIY M3 Balanced or DIY Tube Amp (2A3-300B) | Headphone: Shure SRH-1840, Audeze LCD-X, AKG K-501, Sennheiser HD800

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Since June of last year, I have been thinking about and trying to figure out the parts for a music server/pc control build. And as you stated, how do I power it, cool it and keep it quiet while keeping the signal clean?

 

Last night I changed my mind again. Since I need to build a powerful machine for graphics, 3D, photo/video editing to replace a 10 year-old workstation, I am now thinking of building such a machine and make it dual use. Keep it my home office, and connect the Sonore microRendu to the DAC.

 

DAC 8 DSD only does DSD 512 with Windows ASIO driver :-(

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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There doesn't seem to be any explicit support for Linux from T+A. Only DSD128 support for the Mac which I believe is an osx limitation. It would be good to know if native DSD 256 and/or DSD 512 will run on the DAC 8 DSD with Linux.

 

This may be a chicken and an egg problem, in that Linux needs to be modified to support each native DSD DAC.

nuckleheadaudio.com

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DAC 8 DSD only does DSD 512 with Windows ASIO driver :-(

 

Right, forgot about that point from the manual.

 

Probably for the best; to have a dedicated music server. In that case, most likely ATX PS for the cooling, fans, and GTX card. And a linear PS for the MB, USB card, and drives.

Software: HQPlayer | JRiver | Fidelizer Pro

Music Server: i7 6700K (Windows 10) | Cables: Blue Jean BNC, Cabledyne USB + Uptone Regen | DAC: T+A DAC8 DSD, Marantz SA 14S-1 | Amp: DIY M3 Balanced or DIY Tube Amp (2A3-300B) | Headphone: Shure SRH-1840, Audeze LCD-X, AKG K-501, Sennheiser HD800

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Probably for the best; to have a dedicated music server. In that case, most likely ATX PS for the cooling, fans, and GTX card. And a linear PS for the MB, USB card, and drives.

 

Or run something small for Windows-based NAA, like MinnowMAX and then run something bigger for player(s) and processing.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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There doesn't seem to be any explicit support for Linux from T+A. Only DSD128 support for the Mac which I believe is an osx limitation. It would be good to know if native DSD 256 and/or DSD 512 will run on the DAC 8 DSD with Linux.

 

This may be a chicken and an egg problem, in that Linux needs to be modified to support each native DSD DAC.

 

Larry, the limitation for Mac OS X is just that it only supports DSD via DoP. So the overhead for framing means that DACs which support DSD256 can run at just 128 via DoP. So for a DAC that supports DSD512, OS X will do DSD256 via DoP.

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There doesn't seem to be any explicit support for Linux from T+A. Only DSD128 support for the Mac which I believe is an osx limitation. It would be good to know if native DSD 256 and/or DSD 512 will run on the DAC 8 DSD with Linux.

 

This may be a chicken and an egg problem, in that Linux needs to be modified to support each native DSD DAC.

 

It is very confusing, more than it should be. On the other hand you can use an NAA running Windows. The OS of the NAA is essentially the device driver. HQPlayer machine can be OS X or Linux.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Larry, the limitation for Mac OS X is just that it only supports DSD via DoP. So the overhead for framing means that DACs which support DSD256 can run at just 128 via DoP. So for a DAC that supports DSD512, OS X will do DSD256 via DoP.

 

I am not sure that it's correct.

An Amanero card supports DSD512 in Windows, but in OSX/Linux can do only DSD128 in DoP.

The DSD DoP capability depends on the PCM bandwidth capability of the USB receiver.

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A small side note about the USB receiver working in Win 10 ASIO mode and with the DAC 8 operating in DSD mode.

 

With our first unit we were getting scary bangs if the PC rebooted, very not nice. We called T+A, and they had the problem fixed via a firmware update in less than a week which was then applied to the units in production. This delayed the delivery of our second unit, but with the new firmware the DAC goes into mute mode when ever there is no good USB signal, you can hear the relays switching

 

Pretty responsive and effective customer service !

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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