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NOS DACs


fritzg
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Best I've heard (best DAC I've heard) is the Phasure.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I've had several NOS Dac's, but they weren't NOS when I had them. Back when they were current, it seemed like just about every audiophile wanted a better format than CD. And it didn't really matter how good their digital front end was. Even those with expensive gear wanted a new solution for digital. Now that we have some new options, there's a growing number of people that want to get their hands on old Dac's. Maybe they do like the sound better, and that's fine. However, I can't help but think that many feel the grass is greener on the other side. Things that are rare, or difficult to obtain usually create a strong demand.

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I've had several NOS Dac's, but they weren't NOS when I had them. Back when they were current, it seemed like just about every audiophile wanted a better format than CD. And it didn't really matter how good their digital front end was. Even those with expensive gear wanted a new solution for digital. Now that we have some new options, there's a growing number of people that want to get their hands on old Dac's. Maybe they do like the sound better, and that's fine. However, I can't help but think that many feel the grass is greener on the other side. Things that are rare, or difficult to obtain usually create a strong demand.

 

That about mirrors my feelings on the matter. When oversampling DACs performed measurably better, and audiophiles at the time thought them clearly audibly better there was no advantage perceived for a DAC to be NOS.

 

Now we have this myth of how the old simpler NOS DACs were the real way digital is supposed to have been. Better tech can make the old NOS concept better than it was, and done well enough it can be as good as the digital format allows. Done well enough it might even match the performance of good delta sigma DACs.

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. 

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A kind friend of mine lent me the original Metrum Octave Dac, I couldn't get on with it, it didn't do anything for me in my system at the time. I did hear it in his system and it sounded really good!

Sources are: Mac Mini 2010 / Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace c/w Jelco 750 D and Denon DL 103 MC cartridge. Phono Stage: EAR 834P. Power Amp: Audio Note Empress Silver into a Hattor passive pre. DAC: Lampizator Atlantic and Humming Board NAA Speakers: Horns.pl Mummys. Cables: Duelund DC 16 GA  - Audionote AN-SPX 27 Strand RCA and Albedo Silver RCA and Western Electric WE 16 GA. All digital music played through a Mac Mini using Roon and HQP. Power Supply: Gigawat PC2-EVO

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From what I understand the Bifrost Multibit runs in NOS mode if your sample rate is 192 or 176 otherwise it will up-sample to one of those sample rates and apply it's custom filtering.

 

So in case your music is stored in standard CD format (44,1khz) you will still have to do the oversampling on the computer side.

My experience with NOS DAC's (so far only the Metrum Octave MK2 and Musette) is that they sounded best without any oversampling at all. Up-sampling will probably be even worse.

 

Very curious about the Schiit Multibit DAC's though.

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So in case your music is stored in standard CD format (44,1khz) you will still have to do the oversampling on the computer side.

My experience with NOS DAC's (so far only the Metrum Octave MK2 and Musette) is that they sounded best without any oversampling at all. Up-sampling will probably be even worse.

 

Very curious about the Schiit Multibit DAC's though.

 

Mike Moffat (Schiit) believes you should let their MB DACs do the interpolation and not the computer, thus taking advantage of their proprietary filter. My BiMBy sounds best doing exactly that.

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I always thought the PC is better equipped to perform that task. Might of course also be depending on the type of software used on the PC. (I use HQplayer myself). But of course it may be different for the Schiit. I was only referring to the two Metrum DAC's I heard.

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I always thought the PC is better equipped to perform that task. Might of course also be depending on the type of software used on the PC. (I use HQplayer myself). But of course it may be different for the Schiit. I was only referring to the two Metrum DAC's I heard.

 

I'm in that "it depends" camp personally. I have licenses for most of the Mac players (including HQPlayer) and have found upsampling in the computer a mixed bag and quite subjective. My Qute Ex also sounds better sans software upsampling as well. Would love to hear a Metrum BTW.

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