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Best Software for PCM Multibit DACs?


Sam Lord

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Hi All,

 

I'm near to getting a 2ch super DAC. I intend to try some with reasonable prices like the Exasound E22, Schiit Yggdrasil, Invicta Mirus, and perhaps others.

 

Now I use HQPlayer to convert all my 16/44 files to DSD128 with great results on an Oppo 105D. But the Schiit is a PCM-only decoder. I have for a very brief time enjoyed the recommended 24/176 setting on HQP.

 

My question is, what are the software experiences and preferences of people who use multibit DACs? The Yggy seems like a great device. But then there is the chance that DSDx2, x4, even x8 will take off...and I don't know how a Yggdrasil would perform with native DSD recordings and conversion software like HQP. Anyone?

 

Thanks.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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Bump. No one?

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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Sam,

There really is no hard and fast rule. Get a dac or two inhouse and then try HQP (for starters) since it can allow you the flexibility (and quality of conversion) to test the sweetspots of each dac, be it PCM to DSD, DSD to PCM, or leaving file formats alone. I gotta assume a multibit dac will have its sweetspot somewhere in the high 24 bit range (talking music file downloads) and will appreciate native PCM files more than converted DSD-to-PCM, but we can't always choose (assuming both versions of an album are available). Generally, I find that FPGA dacs like to leave well enough alone, and that SABRE dacs like HQP to send everything to DSD256+...but those are gross generalities.

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Thanks Ted. I've been using HQP for about a year and love the results sending DSD128 to my Oppo 105D (a Sabre-based DAC). I'm just surprised nobody here or at HeadFi has tried outboard software interpolation with the new R2R DACs. I need to send in my Bifrost to make it a Bimby, and I'll report when it's back.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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Thanks Ted. I've been using HQP for about a year and love the results sending DSD128 to my Oppo 105D (a Sabre-based DAC). I'm just surprised nobody here or at HeadFi has tried outboard software interpolation with the new R2R DACs. I need to send in my Bifrost to make it a Bimby, and I'll report when it's back.

 

Hi Sam. I remember Mike Moffat encouraging all kinds of comparisons to their mega-combo-burrito filter. I've done it with my BiMBy and my preference is to let the DAC do its thing regardless of player software. As usual YMMV. As to other DACs .. dunno.

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I have not heard the Yggy, so can not comment on it's abilities

 

I have a lot of experience with Exa E20 and E22, and have been able to get top draw results using good and very good linear power supplies. PCM 352 is pretty good, not quite as good as some more expensive DAC's such as the Accuphase DC-37, but the Exa's DSD256 is very good, and clearly better than every DSD128 I have heard. However I have not heard Lampi DSD256, or Bryston DSD256, or Moon DSD256

 

When doing PCM to DSD256 with HQP Player, the computing platform makes a surprising amount of difference, even more than the difference between good DAC's. If you go for a high power PC, then you can you the Closed Form filter in HQ Player (Closed Form is used in the Yggy)

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Thank you Melvin and Eurodriver! I was indeed mostly concerned about how the best DSD downloads would sound on the Yggy with the best software, which I expect to be the same HQPlayer that has served me so well.

 

There is more discussion on the Yggy Review thread that just came up:

 

------------------

"

yfei - Today, 03:32 AM

Report Post Reply

 

Quote Originally Posted by YashN View Post

It would be interesting to read a comparison with the Yggy and PCM vs a good DSD DAC like the Lampi for example.

Yggy dsd vs. Yggy cd

Tried a couple of DSD albums on Yggy (jriver - 176khz 24bit), its wonderful. e.g. dark side of the moon, dsd is way way better than CD, night and day.

hate to say that, yggy with dsd makes cd unlistenable (i know, yggy already made CDs sounded so great).

 

firedog - Today, 04:41 AM

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Chris -

I was looking forward to your review of this, as I know you love your Berkeley, and b/c Schiit claims the Yggy is as good as anything out there. You seem to more or less agree with this, which is pretty outstanding for a DAC that costs less than $2300.

 

Hypothetical: Could you give up your Berkeley Reference DAC for the Yggy without (much) regret?

 

Personally, I've found converting DSD to PCM with HQP sounds great on my DAC - and it's an ESS (Mytek 192), so I would not be at all surpised if it also sounds good through the Yggy.

 

So I'd really be interested in hearing how others who playback a lot of DSD think it sounds through the Yggy.

 

Anyone else who can chime in and compare the Yggy to a more expensive DAC? To take a flier on it I'd need to feel pretty confident about the sound - I've got to pay a lot of shipping and taxes to import it where I live, so if I try it and don't like it I'm out quite a bit of cash."

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Cheers

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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